A degenerative joint disease, Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the cartilage at the end of a bone becomes thin and rough.
Commonly affecting the hips, knees, neck, lower back and finger joints, OA causes the affected joint to lose its ability to move smoothly, which causes joint pain and swelling. In severe cases, the cartilage can break down completely, which causes bone to rub against bone.
OA progresses slowly and develops over many years. In most cases, only small changes affect parts of the joint. However sometimes it’s more severe and extensive.
Common signs include stiff or painful joints, inflammation of the joint (from cartilage damage), muscle weakness, bony growths around the joint edges, and wear and tear of the ligaments and tendons around the affected joints.
Commonly affecting people over the age of 40, OA can develop earlier in some people, especially if it’s hereditary.
But there are other factors that can increase your chances of developing OA, including being excessively overweight, or leading a hard-working life that might have included heavy lifting. And if you’ve suffered from poor posture or previous injuries, the onset of osteoarthritis may be accelerated.
Although osteopathy can’t cure OA, treatment can help you manage the pain, improve your range of joint movement and maintain your body’s mobility.
So when our team of osteopaths work with patients affected by OA, we aim to improve overall body function and ease muscular tension by massaging, stretching and mobilising the affected joints. We also assign home exercises to help nourish the joints and promote healing. So as time goes on, you can go about your daily routine more comfortably.
If you or someone you know is affected by Osteoarthritis and would like help managing the pain, give us a call to find out exactly how osteopathy can help. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with one of our osteopaths online.