Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain, swelling, inflammation, and often stiffness in the joints of the body.
Arthritic Pain | Osteopath Sutton
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but there are many other types including ankylosing spondylitis, gout, psoriatic arthritis and reactive arthritis. Certain types of arthritis can also affect children. Common areas affected include the hips, knees, feet, hands, and spine.
Everybody gets grey hair and wrinkles as we get older. In the same way, it is normal for our muscles, bones, joints and associated tissues to change as we age. Ageing does not necessarily mean that we will experience increased pain or stiffness. However, if this does become a problem, people often find that treatment and advice from an osteopath can complement GP care and pharmaceuticals management. If you do begin to notice problems, your osteopaths can work with you to keep you healthier, allowing you to enjoy the pleasures of life into your older years.
Causes and symptoms involved in arthritis: pain (this can be at rest or during movement), swelling that is sometimes associated with redness, stiffness or a creaking feeling in the joints which is often worse in the morning, decreased function of joints, weakness and muscle wasting, and difficulty doing some day to day activities.
Treatment: While osteopaths cannot ‘cure’ arthritis, we can help to reduce and manage the symptoms effectively. Gentle manipulative and massage techniques by osteopaths can help reduce the pain and symptoms experienced in many arthritis sufferers. Treatment is individual, gently moving and stretching an arthritic joint, massaging surrounding muscles and tissues to help ease discomfort, and help to move synovial fluid within the joint providing lubrication. It is important to fully understand how to manage the condition before it begins to affect our daily living tasks.
Rehabilitative exercises are a primary part of osteoarthritis care, therefore you will be guided through an exercise routine specific to you, to help get you moving. This will help by increasing your mobility and strength in the legs and arms, whilst reducing pain. You may also receive advice on your diet, posture and changes to lifestyle. X-rays, scans or other tests may sometimes be required however that is usually not the case.
150 minutes of exercise per week, in blocks of ten minutes or more can help to increase muscular strength, reduce the risk and falls, increase function and mobility, and reduce pain experienced in the joints from arthritis. This should be enough to make you warmer and breathe harder, whilst still being able to have a conversation. It can also help to improve your mood and levels of confidence. This might include activities such gentle squatting, dancing, or brisk walking. Your osteopath will often provide exercises to improve your balance, to reduce the risk of falling, particularly if you are over the age of 70.