What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease affecting a large number of the population. Research indicates that 90% of people will have some type of osteoarthritic by the time they are 40 years of age.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes joint pain and stiffness. It usually develops gradually, over time.
The most commonly affected joints are spinal and weight bearing joints such as the spine, hips, knees and feet. It is also found in the hands. A top layer of articular cartilage breaks down and wears away. Bone that lies under the cartilage rubs together to cause pain, swelling and reduced motion.
What causes osteoarthritis?
Although there is no known cause there are many situations that are believed to contribute to the condition. Along with ageing other contributing factors include:
- Being overweight
- Previous injury
- Muscle weakness
- Sporting activity
- Poor biomechanics
How to treat osteoarthritis
Every one is different but following a thorough diagnosis your physiotherapist can recommend the best course of action. The condition cannot be cured however there is plenty you can do to relieve your symptoms.
There a number of exercises you can do at home. The application of ice and heat packs can help with pain management. Often a food supplement called glucosamine has demonstrated results. Lifestyle changes can be implemented and there are also a number of treatments from diagnosis to management including:
Recent blogs on osteoarthritis
- Running is all in the Big Toe! – Osteopath, Adam Robertson, shares with us how running performance can be impaired with issues arising from your big toe.