Arthritis: Pain points

Bone - orange

Even when the music vibrates through your bones, you mightn’t be able to limber up for a boogie like you used to.

Arthritis is a catch-all term that covers over 150 conditions that affect muscles, bones & joints. You might’ve heard of the common ones like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. If you happen to develop arthritis, don’t despair! Keep in mind that arthritis is quite common for people over 65 and there are a range of treatments available. Over 3.3 million Australians live with and manage the symptoms of arthritis, so you’re in a pretty popular club.* Age aside, anyone can get arthritis including children and young people. It can affect people from all backgrounds and lifestyles.

What is arthritis?

Just like the Tin Man, joints need lubrication – this is done through joint capsules containing liquid. Cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons all keep your bones in place and moving smoothly. The scourge of arthritis attacks these useful functions, making everyday life feel like being cooked stiff from the inside. Not nice.

Different types of arthritis

1. Degenerative

Where the core components of joints (cartilage, bone, ligaments and muscles) all worsen over time. Osteoarthritis is one example.

2. Inflammatory

Many of these conditions relate to the immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis and gout are two culprits, though gout is commonly caused by the kidneys.

3. Bone and soft tissue

These ones are a bit harder to pin down, but generally affect the bones and soft tissue (and even the brain’s ability to deal with pain). Osteoporosis, the mineral loss in bones, and back pain are the common ones in this category.

Do I have arthritis?

Common symptoms around your joints include:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • redness and heat
  • stiffness or reduced movement

Don’t just simply make painkillers a part of your daily routine. It’s important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Skipping the doctor could mean suffering further damage to your joints.

Can I banish this curse?

Before you call in an exorcist, it’s worth knowing there’s no cure for arthritis. While there are a medicine cabinet’s worth of treatments depending on your doctor’s instructions and your type of arthritis, many Aussies living with arthritis also use physio, exercise and self-management techniques.

Help from Peoplecare

We have a range of programs and benefits to help.

For Gold & Silver Hospital covers

We’ve beefed up our arthritis support with a free 24/7 coaching services for Peoplecare members. It’s run by our friends at Home Support Services (HSS), who’ve been helping people recover at home since 1989.

So what are you waiting for? Give our free, confidential, Health Risk Assessment a go so we can connect you with our services. We don’t receive your personal information and it doesn’t affect your premiums now or in the future – we just pay the bill.    

*You need to have served your 2-month waiting period to use our health programs. Health programs aren't available on Bronze Hospital and the closed Basic Hospital (Basic Plus) – all other Peoplecare hospital products are eligible.

For all extras covers

Getting hands-on help? You can claim part of the cost of physio and exercise physiology (of course the benefit amount depends on your level of cover).

But wait, there’s more. If your GP or other health professional declares you have a health condition, you might be able to claim certain other treatment costs. We can also pay benefits on all our extras covers for fitness programs and equipment if you have a condition requiring a health management plan. There’ s a whole swag of goodies claimable in such cases, including exercise equipment, gym memberships, pool sessions etc.

For Mid, High or Premium Extras

You can also claim part of the cost on dietetics as well as complementary therapies such as remedial massage and acupuncture.

For more info on services that are eligible for benefits, give us a buzz on 1800 808 690 or email


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