Over the last 7 years, one thing that I have realised from treating patients in my Kennington location, is that I tend to spend a relatively large amount of time dealing with conditions that cannot be fully cured. Yes, this may be due to where the clinic is located; being in a village location with a large eldery population means that I probably do see more patients with more degenerative and life-limiting conditions than perhaps a city centre clinic would see. So, one of the most common ailments that fall into the ‘incurable category’ is arthritis. There are a few common misconceptions with arthritis;
1, It only affects people of a certain age…
Wrong! Although it is more prevalent over the age of 45 this is by no means the starting point.
2, I guess I’ll just have to suffer through the pain and deal with it, like it or not…
Again, this is complete and utter baloney. As osteopaths we spend much of our time helping people alleviate the pain caused by arthritis and, thankfully, for our clients as much as our sanity, there is much that can be done! But before we continue, lets highlight exactly what we are talking about.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis can generally be categorised into two types – inflammatory and degenerative. Degenerative arthritis, also known as ‘Osteoarthritis’, is the one that we see most frequently at the practice and many people just chalk it up as general ‘wear and tear’ assuming that it is just something, as mentioned above, they have to just deal with.
It can rear its ugly head in just about any joint however it is much more commonly found affecting the neck, lower back, hands, hips, and knees. The textbook symptoms that can be experienced are painful joint swelling and stiffness leading to increasingly reduced mobility. You will surely know someone who is suffering from Osteoarthritis.
On the inflammatory side, things are a little different.
Inflammatory arthritis, like Rheumatoid arthritis, for instance, is much much less common and has the uncanny knack of affecting people at a much earlier age. As a result, the pain and reduced mobility hits earlier and becomes more severe much more quickly.
I know a handful of people in their 30’s who suffer terribly with inflammatory arthritis and it can be completely debilitating as these types of arthritis are more systemic and can affect the body as a whole.
Symptoms of Arthritis
It is fair to say that Osteoarthritis is fairly misunderstood
Although it can be hereditary it is generally caused by slack posture, previous injury, poor lifting technique, repetitive or heavy manual labour among other things. Thankfully osteopathy is an incredibly effective way to control your arthritis and the symptoms that come along with it. The most common red zones and symptoms for arthritis tend to be;
Early morning stiffness
Swelling and Inflammation
Referred muscle pain
Lack of mobility
If you are experiencing persistent pain in these areas then there are ways that I can help.
How can an Osteopath help?
Currently, there is no cure for arthritis other than a replacement of the degenerated joints, but it is suggested that less invasive treatment options are tried before surgery. Osteopathic treatment involves gentle manual osteopathic techniques on joints, muscles, and ligaments. This may involve gentle stretching, mobility, and traction techniques. Treatment can do a huge amount to reduce pain and swelling whilst improving your mobility and range of joint movement. Patients are treated I treat lots of people in the clinic who are suffering for all types of arthritis, we may not be able to reverse the effects of arthritis, however, we can reduce and manage symptoms to prevent a faster decline.
If you feel you may be suffering but have to just deal with it by chalking it off as wear and tear then now is your time to act!
Feel free to get in touch with me and I can tailor a plan to your circumstance before it becomes a real problem. My aim as an osteopath is to provide you with the confidence and the tools to enable you to manage your ailments at home, with irregular maintenace sessions to keep you running smoothly. The earlier that arthritis is diagnosed, the sooner that we treatment can commence with your treatment plan and start to manage your pain.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to give me a call 🙂
Until next time!