Arthritis & Joint Pain

The gentle manipulative and massage techniques from osteopaths can help some arthritis sufferers. Treatment is individual, gently moving and stretching an arthritic joint and massaging 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 further arthritis treatment.

Arthritis is a 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. Certain types of arthritis can also affect children. 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.

Retirement can bring time for leisure, travel opportunities and interests. There is the opportunity to take up those sports and activities that you never had time for whilst working and bringing up your family, e.g. golf, gardening, badminton, fitness classes etc. The body, however, has changed. It has lost some of its elasticity and ability to adapt. It has also experienced injuries and postural stress during those years, often resulting in repetitive strain injuries, stiffness and degenerative changes.

Osteopathy can help greatly during this time. An osteopath will take a full case history so they can understand how the body has been affected so far. Then, after a full examination and assessment the osteopath will be able to offer bespoke arthritis treatments and advice which improves mobility, circulation and immune function, and reduce joint stiffness so that a person can enjoy a full and active life in retirement.

Arthritis treatment is usually gentle and aims to maintain health and prevent further injury. Dietary advice may also be given to help maintain healthy bones and joints.

Remember

• Gentle stretching daily to help maintain tissue elasticity and joint mobility
• Walk as much as possible to keep circulation healthy and maintain muscle tone
• Have a daily rest to recover energy for the rest of the day’s activities
• The use of trainers or similar footwear can help to reduce wear and tear to the knee and hip joints, and can also help reduce back pain when walking on hard pavements.