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: 



Lumbar spine (low back)

Cervical spine (neck)

Big toe (Hallux rigidus)





How it might show up in your life?

You begin to feel stiff and sore in the morning or when getting up after a rest

Everyday tasks get harder, like walking, housework or doing the shopping

Activities like gardening are a struggle as kneeling and bending is painful

Sports/hobbies like walking, running, golf or tennis become difficult

Using regular painkillers and resting more often

Where you might feel pain?

Usually in the joint that is affected (knee for example)

Pain can also radiate away from the joint that is affected (hip can refer pain to the knee)

How it might feel?

Feeling of stiffness

Sore in the mornings and when getting up after a rest

Begins to ease as you get moving

Constant or intermittent (comes and goes)

Joint may feel hot, inflamed and look thickened

Pain is usually dull and throbbing but can be sharp

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?

We use our 4-step system to assess and treat OA as outlined below. This ensures you have the best possible chance of getting better and the problem not returning in future.

1) Assess

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.

2) Mobilise

We then begin treatment. This usually involves a combination of hands-on techniques as outlined below to help improve joint stiffness, decrease pain and improve muscle and nerve tension.

Soft tissue massage and mobilisation

Joint mobilisation

Acupuncture and Dry Needling

Muscle Energy Techniques


Advice around lifestyle, posture and ergonomics.

We begin to build your exercise rehab programme ensuring it fits around your life and is not overwhelming.

3) Strengthen

Once pain has begun to settle and we are moving in the right direction, the emphasis shifts to helping you build the necessary strength and resilience of muscles and joints in order to get those long-lasting results. We work with you 1:1 in our dedicated rehab space and/or start you in our group PhysioFit Pilates classes.

4) Optimise

Now that you are well on your way to being pain free, we show you how to build on these results. Many of our clients choose to start our Physio Led Pilates. classes which are an excellent way to stay consistent with your exercises and to keep you on track going forwards.
Note: Most people don’t need scans but if during the assessment or subsequent treatment sessions we decide your condition does need further investigation like an X-ray or MRI, we have the facilities to refer you privately if you wish. Usually, we can get this organised and have a result within 3-5 days.

How do I get started?

If you are ready to book in then you can either phone the main desk on 0191 814 9717, or use our easy online booking system by clicking here and selecting the ‘Physiotherapy Assessment/First Appointment’ option at a day and time that suits you. You will usually be offered an appointment within 48 hours.

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. 


What Our Clients Say

Paul Scrafton
Paul Scrafton
Physio linked to additional stretches/exercises and Pilates at JL Physiofit have improved my core strength and flexibility.
Rebecca Lowes
Rebecca Lowes
Michael helped me with leg pain leading up to my first half marathon. I ended up running the whole distance with no pain and was able to enjoy the experience by taking his advice and getting treatment the week before the big run. Would recommend to anyone.
Neil Taylor
Neil Taylor
Hi , i have had individual physiotherapy by Bev for my back and feet (plantar fascia )and have subsequently been able to join a beginners Pilate class run by Bev . The class is demanding , enjoyable and appropriate to my physical capability.
Alison Bailey
Alison Bailey
I thoroughly enjoyed my Pilates class this morning. I found my teacher to be very thorough, aware of each pupils ability and very encouraging. Highly recommended. Thank you .
Sharon Oldroyd
Sharon Oldroyd
Started treatment in September 2022 after hospital appointments with consultant and scans on my left knee. I booked to see Michael as I was having major pain/grinding noise and unable to do exercise or even walk up/down the stairs properly. He assessed my mobility and strength and developed a tailored, gradual rehab program that has helped me to build strength and confidence in my knee as well as helping me slowly get back into exercising. It's made a vast difference working with Michael as I'm not an easy person to work with and always push myself too far. All my exercises were shared via email and accessible via an app. Now I'm exercising 5 times a week, spinning, strength, cardio, HIIT, rowing and running (I can finally use my home gym). Thank you for your patience and understanding my needs. Would highly recommend Michael and JL PhysioFit.
Diana Robertson
Diana Robertson
I am really enjoying beginners Pilates and feel like I have made good progress. The trainers are very good and it is a positive low-key atmosphere and everyone is friendly and welcoming.
Julie Tough
Julie Tough
Enjoying this physio type class, definitely feeling the benefit.
Moira Luccock
Moira Luccock
Good class today with Michael. Well taught by Michael with options to suit our abilities. Stretching so feel I have progressed. Light hearted banter too - what more could you want! Moira
Lesley Hughes
Lesley Hughes
Good team that listen to what clients have to say before doing each Pilates class, so if you have a niggle they work with it. Exercises are testing but doable, even if at the time you are not sure about it, and if you can't then they come up with a variation for you to do. Friendly classes and staff.
Nick Winslow
Nick Winslow
I attend pilates regularly and cannot overstate how much I value the advice ,motivation,and fun this provides.There is a real rewarding sense of progression.JL himself is my usual instructor ,but the entire team have an infectious enthusiasm that fosters self improvement.
web acuphys
certified logo
Ready to Book?

All of our appointments can be easily booked online or if you’d prefer to discuss your needs prior to booking in then please call 0191 814 9717 and we will be happy to chat.