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Arthritis

There are different types of arthritis that have different causes, but all of them result in excessive degeneration of the smooth cartilage tissue in joints. As the cartilage tissues wears, sometimes unevenly, the ends of the bones grate against each other impeding smooth movement and causing pain and stiffness. The most common forms of arthritis include;

Osteoarthritis -

Affects some people as they age and results from a reduced ability for the cartilage to repair itself leading to excessive wearing at the joints. It typically affects the fine joints in the wrist or hand and the larger load bearing joints of the back, hip, knee and ankle.

Rheumatoid Arthritis -

This is an autoimmune inflammatory condition, where the body attacks its own tissues, in this case the joint cartilage. It is not fully understood what triggers Rheumatoid arthritis, but it is believed to stem from a general infection that sets off a chronic reaction in the immune system.

Post Traumatic arthritis -

This results from an injury to the affected joint which could result from a sudden direct impact or progressively over time in the form of repetitive strain. The injury triggers a repetitive cycle of inflammation and cartilage damage in the joint that goes beyond the tissue damage caused by the original injury.

Given the high incidence of hereditary cases of arthritis is it very likely that some people are genetically predisposed to developing the condition. Although it can affect anyone, regardless of age, family history, or lifestyle. One of our experienced therapists can carry out a detailed assessment to your condition diagnose the presence of arthritis. Some of the symptoms of arthritis you may experience include;

  • Joint pain, which worsens when pressure id place through the joint.
  • Stiffness in the affected joints which is worse after periods of inactivity or sleep.
  • Swelling around the joint
  • Audible clicking or grinding sound when moving the joint.
  • Tenderness when the soft tissue over the joint is pressed.
  • Reduced mobility in severe cases, due to pain and stiffness.

For some people the symptoms can appear quite severe but x-ray examination reveals no significant change in the joint structures. Conversely, some people may have an x-ray for a different reasons, only to find they have typical symptoms of arthritic damage but experience no symptoms. Individuals who develop arthritis may find their symptoms do not change perceptibly over the years, whereas some will have periods of remission or a short flare up symptoms.

Whatever the symptoms or diagnosed severity of your arthritis our experienced therapists have the skills and knowledge to help you manage your condition. Your assessment will identify your main issues and the goals you wish to achieve, then a personalised treatment plan will be developed target these objectives. Treatments available you therapist may use include;

  • Heat treatments, including wax baths, to alleviate pain, stiffness and improve soft tissue extensibility.
  • Soft tissue massage to provide relief for stiff, tightened muscles.
  • Advice on managing a flare up of arthritic symptoms.
  • Gait re-education to reduce uneven wearing at the joints, typically the back, hip, knee and ankle.
  • Joint mobilisations to relieve pain and improve function.
  • Muscle stretch and strengthening exercises to improve joint stability.
  • Hydrotherapy, allows exercise with reduced pressure through joints.
  • Taping, to raise awareness of joint position and stability.
  • Functional exercises to improve dexterity and ability to perform daily tasks.
  • Advice on orthotics, for maintaining joint flexibility or position.

If you would like more information about how our Osteopathy or Physiotherapy can help manage arthritis, or to book an appointment, please email us at info@nickcastle.co.uk. or phone us on 0207 394 0799.

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