Arthritis comes from the Greek word ‘arthron’ (meaning joint) and the ending ‘itis’ (meaning inflammation of). The term arthritis describes over a hundred conditions that cause inflammation of the joints. Read on to find out more about the main types of arthritis and how osteopathic treatment could help to manage your symptoms to improve your quality of life.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of arthritis and is caused by wear and tear.
OA affects the cartilage lining of the joint (as well as other surrounding parts), limiting range of motion and causing pain and stiffness.
It is a progressive and chronic condition that mostly affects the hips, knees, spine, hands, and ankles.
OA is most prevalent in adults in their mid-40s and over. Your risk is higher if you have a family history of OA.
Rheumatoid arthritis facts
Another common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is an autoimmune condition, which means that pain and inflammation are caused by the immune system targeting the lining of the joints (the synovium if you really want to know!).
RA often affects the small joints of the body (the hands and feet) but affects the whole body.
Pain is one of the main symptoms of RA. It also causes fatigue and flu-like symptoms.
The most common age of onset is between 25-45 years.
RA is more common in females.
Gout is caused by excess uric acid in the blood which crystallises and deposits in the joints, creating severe, acute joint pain, most commonly in the big toe (but again can affect other joints).
Ankylosing spondylitis facts
Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that most often starts in the sacroiliac joints (i.e. the joints between the base of your spine and pelvis) but can affect your whole body.
Symptoms include stiffness and lower back pain.
It can affect shoulders, ribs, hips, knees, and feet.
Onset occurs between 17 and 45 years of age.
Common arthritis symptoms
There are many types of arthritis that affect people in different ways, however there are some common symptoms, including:
Joint pain, stiffness and inflammation that is generally worse when you first get out of bed in the morning.
Reduced movement of joints.
Tiredness and fatigue.
How can osteopathic treatment help to treat arthritis?
Osteopathic treatment is tailored to your individual needs. This is important when it comes to arthritis-related symptoms because there are many types of arthritis that affect people in different ways.
Your treatment plan may include a combination of techniques, including joint mobilisation, exercise prescription, massage, and lifestyle advice.
We may use a range of soft tissue techniques, including massage, joint manipulation, and stretching to increase blood flow, reduce joint stiffness, and improve your range of motion.
Treatment may involve a plan to keep you active because exercise is an effective way to treat arthritis. Exercise can help by increasing mobility, reducing pain and joint stiffness, strengthening the muscles which support the joints, decreasing tiredness/fatigue? and improving your mood and sleep.
We may provide lifestyle advice to reduce stress and help to manage pain. Stress is known to increase pain and inflammation, so it is important to learn to reduce and manage stress as part of your treatment.
We can also provide advice to help you to maintain a healthy weight by eating a healthy, balanced diet to reduce pressure on your joints.
If you need help managing arthritis-related symptoms, come and see us at the clinic. Call us on (03) 9776 1600 or email email@example.com to make an appointment.
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