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Arthritis – Can Osteopathy Help?

As our bodies get older, inevitably we may find ourselves slowing down! One of the most common reasons for both medical consultation and absence from work is joint pain. Arthritis can affect anyone but normally does not start to show symptoms before middle age. It is a condition which causes pain, swelling and inflammation and stiffness in the joints of the body.


What is arthritis?

The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect one or more joints of the body including the knees, hips, neck and back, the toes and the hands. In a normal joint, where the two bones meet, they are connected inside a joint capsule and here they are supported by strong ligaments. Muscles and tendons cover the capsule and enable movement of the joint. To maintain the health of the joint inside the capsule, the bones are bathed in a sticky solution called synovial fluid. This lubricates the joint as well as helping to supply nutrients to the area while cartilage inside the joint acts as a shock absorber. As the joints become worn through continued use, the structures which keep the joint stable start to lose integrity. Hence, arthritis is as a degenerative condition. Synovial fluid is often the first part of the joint to suffer, as the fluid leaks from the joint, the bones which meet inside the capsule rub together causing a chain of reactions which result in pain, swelling and inflammation. Arthritis can severely affect quality of life – ongoing pain and discomfort can start to bring you down. But, osteopathy can help provide some relief!


Can osteopathy help relieve the signs of arthritis?

The simple answer is yes! At Kennington Osteopathic Practice we offer an initial individual assessment for every patient. We will discuss your past medical history, examine your current mobility and pain, and look at a treatment plan. Osteopathy utilises gentle manipulative and massage techniques which can help relieve some of the pain and discomfort experience by arthritis sufferers. This may include guiding gentle movement of an arthritic joint and massaging surrounding muscles to ease the pain and mobilise the joint and increasing circulation. Treatment may also extend to other joints and muscles as this can help the body work better as a whole and to increase support to the challenged joints. We can also offer advice on posture and changes to how you move and walk as well as exercises to complete at home. This help us to continue working on the areas in between treatment sessions and are an important part of pain management programs. If you suffer from arthritis, or simply aches and pain, and would like to discuss whether osteopathy could help improve your quality of life. Call us today for an initial consultation.