Arthritis and Osteopathy
What is arthritis and what can I do about it?
“Arth – ” = Joint
“ – Itis” = Inflammation
So actually – arthritis as we know it is inflammation of the joints.
There are many types of arthritis that affect people of all ages. It is a condition that may affect people in different ways, both physically and in turn emotionally, impacting on day to day activities, ability to work, and undertake exercise.
Diagnosis and management of arthritis is really important to help decrease symptomatic pain and musculoskeletal effects of the arthritis itself.
Arthritis does not really have a single cause. There are lots of different types of arthritis, and often several factors contribute to a person actually developing and presenting with their complaints. Complaints may include pain, stiffness, crepitus, inflammation to joints and cartilage of the spine, as well as larger joints such as hip, knees and shoulders but also smaller joints in the feet, hands and wrists. These are often associated muscle spasms, joint and muscle weakness and potential to develop instability and deformity in the affected joints.
The most common types of arthritis is Osteoarthritis (OA) or also known as Degenerative Joint Disease. It is probably the most well known arthritis by the general population, or an understanding that it may develop in “older” people. It can also be caused from previous injury and/or trauma to the area and be coupled with other underlying types of arthritis.
Other very common types of arthritis are
Rheumatoid Arthritis :
- Is an inflammatory Arthritis –
- Is an autoimmune disease – where the joints are inflamed from a reaction within the body’s immune system,
- Affects mainly women.
- Affects men more commonly,
- Caused from a build up of uric acid within the body,
- Usually controlled well by diet and medication,
- Most common joints affected are big toe and small joints.
- Is an umbrella term to describe many types of arthritis occurring in children. They can be inflammatory, autoimmune or rheumatic and affect kids from babies to 16 years old
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus):
- Inflammatory condition of both joints and connective tissues within the body
Tips to help manage and reduce the effects of arthritis may include:
Management by a Medical team of:
– Rheumatologist ( Specialist in diagnosing and managing arthritis/joint diseases autoimmune related musculoskeletal diseases and disorders)
– General Practitioner (your general doctor)
– Pharmacist (for prescription and over the counter medication dispensing – really helpful!!!)
- Encourages improvement in joint mobility, decreases muscle spasm and tightness, improves connective tissue suppleness and overall sense of wellbeing.
Management by a Complementary Team of:
– Exercise Physiologist or Personal Trainer
- Really important for maintaining healthy joints, muscles and movement. Aids in general physical and mental wellbeing.
- Help you understand about inflammatory foods to avoid and anti-inflammatory foods to enjoy and include
- Maintain optimal body weight
- To prescribe and advise on supplements to support joint and muscle health. For example turmeric, fish oil, magnesium
- Helping understand your pain, your condition and the impact it may be having on you in all walks of life
– Your family and friends!!
- Don’t underestimate how important and how helpful your network of family and friends are to your recovery. Don’t be afraid to speak to them, explain to them your condition so they can be aware of what you may be going through.