What is it?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that affects up to 8.5 million people in the UK and is a condition in which the joints of our body become painful.
The onset of OA occurs in people aged 40 and over, with this increasing the older we get. OA is referred to as a ‘wear and tear’ disease but actually this isn’t the case with the vast majority of OA being attributed to genetics. There are exceptions to this, such as if you fracture a bone or damage ligaments around a joint you may be more susceptible to developing OA.
The most common joints affected are:
How it might show up in your life?
Where you might feel pain?
How it might feel?
Why do I get Osteoarthritis?
Let’s take the knee joint as an example. A joint is where two bones meet. The knee joint is where the thigh bone (femur) meets the shin bone (Tibia).
The ends of each bone are covered and protected by articular cartilage, which is a smooth, shiny material that helps to provide shock absorption and aid fluid movement of the knee.
In an arthritic joint this cartilage is eroded away until the ends of the bone are exposed and come into contact with each other. This pressure causes nerve endings that live on the bone to become sensitive and painful.
Overtime the pressure results in bony spurs forming, which roughens the joint, making movement more painful.
The main issue with this process is that it forces us to move less because when we do, we experience more pain. As a result, we end up making the issue worse.
The knee joint (like many others) is a synovial joint and in order to stay healthy and function well, it needs to be hydrated with nutrients. It does this through movement and a clever mechanism of pressure and release, which acts to draw nutrients into the joint.
So hopefully it is clear that by avoiding movement and being static, we can actually make the problem and pain worse.
How do we treat Osteoarthritis Pain?
First we listen to you and take a detailed history of your pain and problem. Then we assess your body and painful joint using simple movement tests and screens.
We then explain your likely diagnosis and proposed treatment plan of exactly what we need to do to get you better.
How do I get started?
Like to speak to someone first?
No problem, please call the main desk and if needed we can have a physio call you back to discuss your specific situation.