What is Arthritis?
Although we often think of arthritis as an older person’s illness it can actually appear at any time and certain types can even affect children. Arthritis is a chronic condition which causes swelling, inflammation and stiffness in the body’s joints. It can be painful and debilitating and often adversely impacts the sufferer’s quality of life.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any age group but most commonly starts from the ages of 40-50. It affects three times as many women as it does men and there are over 40,000 sufferers in the UK. It is caused by an auto-immune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the cells which line your joints leaving them swollen and painful.
Osteoarthritis is usually caused by wear and tear on the joints and although it can affect anyone it is generally found in the over 50’s. It usually affects the joints of the knees, hips, neck and back and can come and go with different people experiencing different symptoms.
There are also a number of other rarer arthritic conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis, gout, psoriatic arthritis and reactive arthritis.
How we can help you
An osteopath can help you manage the pain of an arthritic flair up as an adjunct to core osteoarthritis treatments and exercise. We will always treat you as an individual and treatment may vary due to the type and severity of your condition.
We provide gentle manipulative and massage techniques and many people find that the gentle moving and stretching of an arthritic joint combined with muscle and tissue massage will ease their discomfort. We will also look at your body as a whole and may work on the mobility of your other joints in order to harmonize your body and to encourage it to work better.
Finally we can look at your lifestyle and discuss how making changes such as weight loss or giving up smoking could help your condition.
We may ask for other tests to help with our diagnosis such as x-rays or scans. If we feel you need additional treatment or further investigations we will always refer you to your GP.