Treating and preventing acute bleeds is the key to effective haemophilia care. Repeated bleeds into a joint can cause permanent changes that lead to pain, stiffness and weakness in the joint – eventually leading to a type of arthritis known as haemophilia arthropathy.
While this all sounds a bit scary, there are plenty of things you can do to help ensure your joints stay as healthy as possible. For example, physiotherapy forms an important part of maintaining joint health and you should make sure that you do any exercises that your physiotherapist recommends regularly. It’s also important to stay active as this will decrease your risk of joint bleeds. This should include choosing a sport or activity that reflects your abilities and physical condition and is not considered to be high contact. Your physiotherapist may be able to help design or adapt exercise programs to accommodate any muscle or joint problems you may have.
Preventing joint bleeds, treating them promptly with clotting factor replacement therapy if they do bleed, and keeping the joints and muscles strong and mobile, are all fundamental to ensuring healthy joints – both now and in the future.