Osteoarthritis - A common arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common naturally occurring degenerative conditions of the body’s joints affecting people of all ages, particularly more prevalent with the elderly. It is characterised primarily by a loss of cartilage around a joint, which helps to provide smooth gliding of a joint, and results in pain and swelling as the joint loses its ability to work in a seamless fluid process. Osteoarthritic patients regularly present to their doctors or chiropractors with joint pain and inflammation. The damaged joints can be irritated at work, during sport or in a home-related trauma. Typically the degree and impact of damage will depend on the stress and loads placed on the arear. Such as posture, injury, history and a range of hereditary factors. 

Chiropractic care provides conservative but useful results with even severely damaged arthritic joints. A thorough assessment is vital for treatment prescription. Treatment may comprise of: 

  • Spinal manipulation and joint mobilisation 
  • Exercise prescription to develop an individualised plan of exercises to improve flexibility. 
  • Assistance with functional, gait and balance training to address impairments of positional awareness, balance and strength in individuals who are at higher risk of injury due to falls. 
  • Supports/aids and education. 

What is the aim of these types of therapy? 

  1. Aim to reduce pain 
  2. Improve range of movement and strengthen key muscle groups. 
  3. Teach you proper posture and body mechanics 
  4. Show you how to properly use assistive devices such as walkers and canes. 
  5. Recommend different treatment options, such as braces and splints to support joints, shoe inserts to relieve stress on the lower extremities, and hot and cold therapy to ease joint pain and stiffness. 
  6. Suggest modifications to your environments, such as ergonomic chairs or a cushioned mat in your kitchen, to relieve pain and improve function. 
  7. A home exercise program if done regularly will assist in reducing additional osteoarthritic flare-ups. 

Unfortunately, long-term compliance with this management plan often is not committed. Many patients will discontinue exercising once pain has subsided and function semi-restored until the next flare-up of pain. This can create further joint damage and deterioration by the repetitive cycle of exercise and inactivity. If you have further questions regarding osteoarthritis please speak to your doctor or chiropractor.

Osteoarthritis - A common arthritis