Arthritis is a very common problem which can affect people of any age. The term arthritis describes a number of different conditions; some of which are inflammatory in nature, and some which are degenerative. These conditions all cause similar symptoms. These symptoms include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. The symptoms associated with arthritis can have a significant effect on the quality of life of sufferers. They can also reduce people’s mobility, which can have a knock-on effect on other aspects of health and wellbeing.
Arthritis commonly affects the joints of the neck, low back, hands, hips and knees. However, a range of joints can be affected, particularly if areas of the body have been injured in the past. Whilst there is no cure for arthritis, Osteopathy can help to reduce symptoms, improve joint motion, and increase general mobility, especially when combined with dietary and lifestyle changes. Seeing an Osteopath can also help with early detection of arthritis. This is beneficial with types of arthritis where early commencement of treatment can reduce the speed of progression.
Osteopathic approaches frequently used in patients with arthritis include:
- Stretching and massage
- Gentle articulation, mobilisation, and traction (seperation) to the joints
- Balancing techniques for the ligaments and tissues
- Assessment and treatment of mechanical issues which may be contributing to arthritic changes
- Prescription of exercises which are specific to you and your condition
- Advice on posture, general exercise, and lifestyle