A Day in the Life of a 3rd Year Osteopathy Student
13 Nov 2018
13 Nov 2018
Arthritis comes in many different forms but collectively, is a condition that affects the joints which causes pain, restricts mobility and diminishes quality of life. Arthritis is extremely common and affects about 20% of the population.
The underlying cause of arthritis is the inflammation of a joint. This can happen in many different joints of the body including the spine, hips, knees, wrists, fingers, toes etc. Typically the weight-bearing joints are affected first in osteoarthritis but in autoimmune or systemic inflammatory arthritic conditions the smaller joints are usually affected first.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is found in the weight-bearing joints such as the spine. This type is the typical “wear and tear” arthritis. Joint irritation in this type of arthritis can either be due to aging, injury or repetitive use. Osteoarthritis is the result of the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, which gradually results in bone-on-bone contact that causes pain, stiffness and reduced movement ability, This is the most common and most effective type of arthritis that can be treated by manual practitioners like chiropractors, osteopaths or physical therapists.
Treatment for arthritis can be done through various different techniques. Generally, the most effective form of treatment is mobilization. Depending on multiple factors such as; the severity of the condition, the age of the patient, range of motion, patient activity level etc. the type of mobilization can vary. By mobilizing the affected joint there becomes a slight increase in the joint space, which is just enough for blood and cells that are outside to filter into the space and help decrease the inflammation and heal the tissues. Another treatment for arthritis is soft tissue therapy. As the joints become irritated the muscles and tissues surrounding the joints try to compensate and often become very tight which also affect the decreased range of motion. Keeping active and proper nutrition are also key factors in managing arthritis.
Arthritis is a chronic condition, which means that once it has begun it is ongoing and reoccurring. This is why if caught early, it can be controlled or managed more effectively. Although it is a chronic condition there are many things that can be done to manage it and provide pain relief. Seeking out more information from a healthcare provider is always recommended.
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13 Nov 2018