Worrying trends have driven one Warrnambool doctor to lead a movement encouraging arthritis patients to get active again.
John Manderson has treated more than 300 people for knee and hip-related osteoarthritis since 2017.
He said that trajectory would continue as the city's population aged.
"There are a lot of people in Warrnambool affected by it," Dr Manderson said.
"Osteoarthritis is a very common disorder in the community.
"It's a condition that affects our joints, it's not just the wear and tear process but it does get more common as people get older."
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But he said there'd been sweeping changes to the way the debilitating disease was managed.
"I opened the Warrnambool Osteoarthritis Hip and Knee Clinic in 2017 after observing a trial in Brunswick," he said.
"I was very impressed with the results. It's clear in medical literature one of the most important things in treating and helping people manage it is staying active.
"There's a lot of evidence that an exercise program devised by a professional can make quite a lot of difference in reducing pain - up to 30 per cent in six months.
"It's a big change because in the past people have thought if they had a painful knee or hip, they were worried about creating further damage by exercising.
"We now know in fact maintaining a level of activity is beneficial for their general health physically and psychologically." Dr Manderson emphasised the treatment was not suitable for every patient.
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