Whether you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or have painful joints that you think may be arthritic, this summary will help you understand the causes and how physiotherapy can help you.
Osteoarthritis is a common condition that may cause joint stiffness, swelling and pain usually in the knees, hips, feet, hands and spine. Some people's arthritis can be so severe that joint replacements are the best solution, while others experience few symptoms even though X-rays show that they have quite advanced osteoarthritis.
It is not known exactly what causes osteoarthritis, although it can be triggered by injury or repeated stress on a joint dependent on your job or activities. It usually affects people aged 50 and over, and is more common in women. Genetic factors play a role in some forms of osteoarthritis.
Physiotherapists are highly skilled at helping those with osteoarthritis, as they can help improve movement, strengthen muscles, and increase or restore mobility.
The physiotherapist will assess how your joints are functioning, and will ask about how they are affecting your life. They will ask questions, watch your movements and feel the joints concerned.
Your consultation is likely to include:
It may also include:
Note: If you are getting severe pain in one or more joints, or find some activities getting very difficult, go to your GP. He or she may prescribe medication to reduce the symptoms or refer you to a specialist or physiotherapist.
Arthritis Research Campaign (ARC) is a UK charity that funds research into arthritis and provides a range of information to individuals and healthcare professionals.
Telephone: 0870 850 5000
Arthritis Care - is a UK charity that works with and for people with arthritis. Produces a range of information, and runs local groups around the country and a helpline.
Telephone: 0808 800 4050
We have Osteoarthritis Specialist Physiotherapists at The Chorley Clinic