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HealthInfo Canterbury

Living with osteoarthritis

Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many things you can do to help with pain, stiffness, or other symptoms.

On this page

What can I do?

Who can help?

Financial support

What can I do?

Who can help?

The following people and organisations may be involved in your (or a family member or friend's) healthcare.

General practice team

If you need to find a GP, you can search on this map.

Arthritis New Zealand

Read more.

Christchurch Hospital Rheumatology Department

The Christchurch Hospital Rheumatology Department sees people with arthritis and other rheumatological disorders or diseases, on referral from a general practitioner. If your doctor has referred you, you will normally be seen at the Rheumatology Outpatients Department.

Private rheumatologist

Find private rheumatologists on Healthpages.

X-ray providers

In Canterbury, X-rays are available at Christchurch and Ashburton hospitals as well as at the following private providers:

These websites also contain maps and contact numbers.

In many cases, your GP will refer you for an X-ray at one of the private providers, but it may be free of charge (if funded by the Canterbury District Health Board). You can arrange your own X-ray at any of the above providers, but if you don't have a referral you will pay the full price.

Physiotherapist and occupational therapists

Ask your general practice team about options for referral to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist through the public health system. Or you can pay to see a physiotherapist or occupational therapist privately.

Burwood Hospital

If you have osteoarthritis and your doctor or rheumatologist thinks you might need a joint replacement, they will refer you for a physiotherapist assessment at Burwood Hospital Outpatients Orthopaedic Department. Other assessments, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, and orthopaedic surgery are also carried out at Burwood Hospital.

Older Persons Health and Rehabilitation (OPH&R)

Older Persons Health and Rehabilitation provides a range of services for people over 65 in Canterbury. These include:

Your general practice team can refer you to one or more of the above as needed.

Community-Based Musculoskeletal Service

The Community Based Musculoskeletal Service provides treatment for musculoskeletal conditions, including corticosteroid injections for treating osteoarthritis. Your doctor will refer you to this service if they think you would benefit from this treatment, and if you meet the criteria.

Clinics are held either at the 24-Hour Surgery or the Riccarton Clinic.

Financial support

For information about funding that your GP might be able to use to reduce the cost of your health care, see Funding schemes at your general practice.

To find out about the disability allowance benefit, see Disability allowance for adults.

Transport and parking has information about mobility parking permits, the Total Mobility half-price taxi scheme, and other transport options.

On the next page: Aids for people with osteoarthritis

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated November 2016.

Page reference: 48779

Review key: HIOST-35589