Osteoarthritis: How It Feels
Osteoarthritis or OA, is a condition that affects joints.
The body can cope with a degree of ‘wear and tear’ and is usually very effective at repairing itself.
OA occurs when the cartilage of a joint is damaged and the body cannot repair it. This leads to an increase in bone growth as it tries to compensate for the loss of cartilage, often giving an enlarged appearance to a joint.
Soft tissues surrounding the joints can become inflamed and tight, leading to stiffness and pain.
It commonly affects the knee, hip or small joints of the hand; although any joint can be involved. OA in the spine is often called Spondylosis.
OA can cause pain and disability, affecting a person’s ability to work and perform their hobbies. The condition can also affect mood, sleep and relationships
The Impact Of Osteoarthritis
Day to day activities as well as hobbies might get harder as joints get stiffer.
Accepting adaptations can also be a difficult step to take for those who are usually independent and active.
It is often misunderstood that symptoms of osteoarthritis cannot be relieved. That the onset of the disease is somehow related to ageing and therefore will inevitably get worse.
Although there is no cure for OA, it is not a consequence of ageing and does not always get worse over time.
The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to improve the situation.
Physiotherapy is the most effective and evidence based treatment for Osteoarthritis.
What We Treat
How We Solve The Problem
Following an exercise plan to maintain mobilisation of the joints along with massage and in some cases hands on treatment to improve flexibility and relieve pain can also be effective.
Your therapist will tell you it’s very important to keep your joints moving and keep you strong. You need to find the right balance between rest and exercise – little and often is usually the best approach.
There are simple measures you can undertake to reduce aggravating your condition. We would encourage you to continue your normal activities but you may need to do less or incorporate rest days.
Small changes can make a difference e.g., don’t overfill shopping bags; use knee-pads when gardening and use cushioned or custom made insoles to offer increased shock-absorption when walking.
If you have ankle arthritis a custom made insole may be very effective and helpful. Our gait analysis will help provide the tailored solution to improve your pain and function.
A walking stick can help offload the stress placed upon your joints especially as you get older or if your going on a longer hike. Losing weight can also be especially helpful if this is an issue for you. Knowing where to start is often the problem. Usually activity levels have reduced as a result of pain, stiffness and the decisions you have made around your arthritis.
In order to change your approach you often need confidence and support. We can guide you through this and help you maintain or improve the quality of your life so you can keep your mobility and independence as you get older. Please don’t just accept the pain, make a decision to come and see one of our team and let us help you.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Will I have to stop running during my rehab?
My knee is stiff and the Gp told me I have arthritis will I need a knee replacement?
No, many people can avoid major surgical intervention by having physiotherapy. It is the most effective and cost efficient treatment to help you get better and stay better.
I’ve had physiotherapy before and it didn’t work?
If you’ve had physio that just included massage and acupuncture or ultrasound it’s unlikely you will have lasting benefit. You should also have been given a treatment plan which typically takes between 6-8 sessions of a gradually increasing rehab plan. If this wasn’t the case or you only had 2-3 sessions and didn’t see any benefit then I am not surprised. Why not speak to one of our experienced team for a free session to see how we do things differently and get results.
Do I need an x-Ray?
An x-Ray of the knee is only really beneficial if you have had a fall or significant trauma. We will easily be able to diagnose your knee pain through various tests and using our experience.
Do you treat a lot of knee pain?
Yes we treat knee pain on daily basis, for people aged 40plus so we know how to help you and what works and what doesn’t.
If tried exercise before and it didn’t help?
Often this is because the wrong exercises have been performed for the injury or phase of healing. It’s also important that the load, frequency, intensity and recovery is at the right level. If your not sure please get in touch.
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