• Adam Whatley

How can osteopathy help joint pain and arthritis?


Arthritis is a very common condition which causes pain, swelling and inflammation and often stiffness in the joints of the body.

The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis but there are many other types including ankylosing spondylitis, gout, psoriatic arthritis and reactive arthritis.


What happens in osteoarthritis?

The joint contains a fluid substance that aids joint lubrication and congruency of movement. Unfortunately this does not stay there for a whole lifetime. It is continuously broken down and replaced to create a balance. Normally, there is an exact balance between the breakdown of old fluid and the production of new. In osteoarthritis, however this balance is disturbed and the breakdown happens faster then the production. As a result, this important fluid becomes more viscous and stops working to its fill advantage.

Due to this change in the fluid - and for other, more complex reasons - the cartilage in the joint gradually degenerates and wears away. in some places, in fact, the cartilage may eventually disappear altogether, and thus developing the symptoms of osteoarthritis, which include pain, stiffness and swelling.

Osteoarthritis develops as people get older and is present in almost everybody over the age of 60 (although not everyone in this age group has bad symptoms). Osteoarthritis of the knee or hip may also occur in younger people, usually because these joints have been overloaded.

Possible causes include sports, jobs involving lots of lifting and carrying, too much bodyweight and abnormal joint development.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear of the joints in the body. It is common in people over 50 and most commonly affects the joints of the knees, hips, neck and back, base of the toes and hands.

How can osteopaths help?

The gentle manipulative and mobilisation techniques from osteopaths can help most arthritis sufferers. Treatment is individual, gently moving and stretching an arthritic joint and manipulation of surrounding muscles and tissues can help ease some of the discomfort. Sometimes an osteopath may work on general mobility of the other joints and muscles in the body to help the mechanics of the body work better. Osteopaths may also give advice on exercises, diet, posture and changes to lifestyle. X-rays, scans or other tests may be required and your osteopath may refer you to your GP for any additional investigations and treatment.

Dynamic Osteopaths regularly provide treatment for arthritis and joint related pain. For further information please contact on 01564 330 773 or info@dynamicosteopaths.com.

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