What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive and chronic, debilitating disease that causes noticeable pain and stiffness. This is due to the degeneration of the articular cartilage that covers joints and results in areas of the joint having bone rubbing against bone. Some may also have bone spurs around the joint. Along with pain within the joint, people with Osteoarthritis may also suffer from swelling around affected joints and restricted movement / stiffness.
The management of Osteoarthritis aims to reduce pain, increase physical function and prevent disability while increasing the quality of life of the patient. It depends at what stage of the disease you have that will determine the best treatment options for your Osteoarthritis.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment is a good choice as conservative treatment for signs of early osteoarthritis for example, within the keen, hip, hands etc.
How can osteopathy help your Osteoarthritis?
As mentioned, the key goals of treatment for Osteoarthritis is:
- Reduce pain
- Increase mobility and function
- Improve quality of life
Our Osteopathic treatment starts with an assessment of your whole body. This is to identify where there are imbalances is muscle/ joint stiffness and motion that are contributing to your symptoms. Gentle and non-invasive hands-on Osteopathic Manual Therapy is used to identify areas of weakness and/or excessive tension.
Working on joints and soft tissues will help these problem areas to regain the body’s structural balance. Our osteopath will release muscle tension around the affected joints and improve the range of movement while encouraging better joint health. Promoting blood and lymph flow to and from the area is what will improve the health of your joints including knee joints, hips, hands and any joints. This will reduce pain and inflammation whilst also increasing flexibility.
Our Osteopath may also advise on specific gentle stretches or exercises that you can continue at home on a regular basis. Helping patients with Osteoarthritis to make positive lifestyle changes along with the manual therapy from our Osteopath can significantly help ease symptoms and improve your quality of life.