Shining a light on World Autoimmune Arthritis Day

18 May 2015

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has highlighted the need to unite community resources and raise awareness surrounding arthritis with the launch of the 3rd Annual World Autoimmune Arthritis Day (WAAD) on 20 May hosted by The International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis.

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day connects dozens of non-profits, advocates, and experts from around the world to provide education and awareness surrounding arthritis for patients, their supporters, and the general public.

APA President Marcus Dripps says: “Physiotherapists are highly qualified in the assessment and treatment of the effects of arthritis. While there is no cure, through physiotherapy there are ways of managing the condition and making life easier within the greater multidisciplinary team. So we encourage those that suffer from arthritis to work with a physiotherapist to provide a range of benefits including reducing pain, improving movement and posture, strengthening muscles and assessing and treating biomechanical problems that may exacerbate the pain and loss of function.

“If people are suffering from symptoms such as recurring pain or tenderness in a joint, stiffness – particularly in the morning, swelling or obvious redness they should seek medical treatment to have their condition assessed by a physiotherapist,” says Dripps.

Marcus Dripps also highlights the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s top tips for helping to manage autoimmune arthritis:

  • Talk to your physio 
    Whether arthritis related or not, seek advice as sometimes seemingly unrelated problems are connected.
  • Don’t overdo it
    Be guided by your physiotherapist on your activity levels. While it’s important to stay active, try to strike a balance between activity and rest.
  • Learn ways to manage pain
    Knowing strategies, techniques and what can be used to deal with pain is an important part of living with a chronic condition such as arthritis. Discover what’s best for you. 
  • Monitor your diet
    While there is no diet to cure arthritis, a healthy and well-balanced diet is important for optimal health.
    Managing a healthy weight range is also important in order to avoid strain on joints.

About the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA)

The APA is the peak body representing the interests of Australian physiotherapists and their patients. It is a national organisation with state and territory branches and specialty subgroups. The APA represents more than 17,000 members who conduct more than 21 million consultations each year. To find a physiotherapist in your area, visit

For further information, or to speak with an expert physiotherapist, please contact:

Ruth Heenan, Australian Physiotherapy Association
T 03 9092 0813, 0416 565 332 E
Pammy Kokoras, Undertow Media
T 03 9421 1317 or 0421 105 710 E
Rachael Horan, Undertow Media
T 03 9421 1318 or 0426 631 316 E