Osteopaths for Arthritis


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If you suffer from arthritis you may wish to visit an osteopath who will be able to assist you in relieving your pain and altering your posture and/or lifestyle in order to help you manage your symptoms. Arthritis describes a group of diseases that are characterised by swelling in one or more of your joints. This swelling can make using the joint very painful as well as reducing the range of movements that you are able to carry out. A common symptom of arthritic patients is morning joint stiffness. Arthritis most commonly occurs in the knee, hip, spine and hands although it can occur in any part of the body and can affect you at any age.

Causes of Arthritis

Arthritis can be caused by a number of different mechanisms and there is possibly a genetic trait for some types of arthritis.

  • If you are overweight you increase the strain that you place on your joints and increase your risk of developing arthritis.
  • As you age your cartilage cannot repair itself as well and it becomes more brittle thus increasing your risk of arthritis.
  • If you overuse your joints by playing a high-level sport (especially running or breaststroke swimming which places a large amount of strain on your knee joints) or work in a physically demanding job, you will increase the rate of cartilage break down and your likelihood of developing arthritis.
  • If you have had a previous injury in one of your joints it is possible that the manner in which your body healed itself created unsmooth areas. These areas can act to create friction on your cartilage and increase your risk of developing arthritis.
  • In a similar way, if you have suffered from an infection in one of your joints you may also increase your risk of arthritis.

Types of Arthritis

There are a number of different types of arthritis that can occur in different parts of the body. The more common types that affect the joints of your body include:

  • Septic arthritis- caused by an infection in one of your joints
  • Hemorrhagic arthritis- caused by bleeding in one of your joints
  • Osteoarthritis- caused by wear and tear of the cartilage in your joints
  • Rheumatoid arthritis- caused by your body’s own immune system attacking your soft tissue
  • Gouty arthritis- caused when crystals of urate are deposited in your joints
  • Pseudo gout arthritis- caused why crystals of calcium are deposited in your joints

etc.

However, some types of arthritis (such as Fibromyalgia and Lupus) have little effect on your joints, but produce swelling in other areas of your soft tissue.

Osteopathic Treatment for Arthritis

Due to the fact that arthritis is caused by swelling of the soft tissue, it can be effectively treated by osteopathy. Whilst there is no cure, osteopathic treatment can reduce the pain caused by your arthritis, increase your mobility and help you manage your lifestyle so that you decrease the rate of your arthritis developing as you age.

Gentle massage, soft tissue message and stretching used by osteopaths will reduce the swelling in your arthritic areas and increase the mobility of your joints and muscles. Your osteopath will also be able to advise you of ways you can alter your posture or lifestyle so that you can minimise your pain triggers occurring. They will possibly also suggest exercises or stretches for you to carry out at home. These will act to strengthen the muscles around your joints (or problem areas) so that your joints are better supported. By better supporting your joints (or problem areas) you will reduce the strain placed on your arthritic areas and thus reduce the rate of degeneration.


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