Arthritis or oesteo-arthritis is general wear and tear of the joints which occurs through the natural ageing process or through heavy and repetitive overuse of the joints. It is one of the leading causes of pain and disability among adults worldwide. The degenerative changes, often diagnosed via an x-ray, can happen in any joint throughout the body including the hips, knees and spine and can cause mild to severe pain, stiffness, inflammation and loss of function.
Although there is not currently a cure for arthritis, a diagnosis does not automatically mean a loss of function and a change to your everyday activities. There are several ways in which patients can ease symptoms, prevent further damage and improve their overall quality of life. Research shows that manual therapies, such as osteopathy can help to alleviate symptoms. According to The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), manual therapy can be considered as a treatment option alongside exercise.
Osteopathy for Arthritis
The goal of osteopathy treatment in relation to arthritis is to reduce any imbalances that may be contributing to the condition. Following a thorough assessment at one of the three London Osteopathy clinics, your treatment will be tailor-made to your individual requirements. This may include a variety of gentle movements, stretching, massage and manipulation of the affected joints.
These techniques aim to relieve muscle tension and pain whilst working to improve joint flexibility. Work may be done on surrounding joints to take the stress and strain off the affected area, ensuring that loading of the joints through activities such as walking is as equal as possible.
The increased blood and lymph supply to the treated area can optimise healing to the joint and surrounding tissues, following several session you may notice a reduction in pain and an overall improvement of function in your everyday activities. With the reduction in symptoms, many patients can increase general fitness through activity and lifestyle changes which can further improve health and therefore breaking the cycle of inactivity and pain avoidance.
Your osteopath will be able to provide home exercises and positive, friendly advice in regards to posture, balance and nutrition to enable you to self manage your condition confidently and effectively.