What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. Some people refer to it as degenerative arthritis.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Every day, “wear and tear” steadily damage your joints. The joints show signs of wear: joint cartilage becomes thin, extra bony spurs grow in response to joint stress, and joint motion lessens. In advanced stages, osteoarthritis can be painful, functionally limiting and depressing.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. But the good news is that there are better ways to manage your osteoarthritis and slow the degeneration process. Better arthritis management will result in making your life easier and more comfortable. Physiotherapy is a significant part of making your life living with osteoarthritis less painful, comfier and keeping you active.
Research has shown physiotherapy to reduce the pain and disability associated with arthritis, especially knee osteoarthritis.
Seek the professional and helpful advice of your physiotherapist to start enjoying life again today!
Your Osteoarthritis Diagnosis
X-rays are the most straightforward test to confirm osteoarthritis. An experienced practitioner will have an excellent idea of whether you have osteoarthritis when they examine you.
How Does Osteoarthritis Affect Older People?
As you age, most people develop some degree of osteoarthritis. Our joints’ wear and tear may occur due to ageing, injury, prolonged microtrauma, overuse of bones, or excess weight. Permanent bony changes occur and will exist even when there are no painful symptoms.
Your degree of suffering varies. The most common is mild or intermittent pain provoked by episodes of increased use or minor trauma. Whereas some people may be symptom-free, others may suffer continuous disabling pain.
The joints most commonly affected are the weight-bearing joints: hip, knee, ankles, feet and spine. However, osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body and is common in the hands and shoulders. Severe cases may require surgical treatment, but most will respond very well to physiotherapy and medication prescribed by your doctor.
You can suspect osteoarthritis if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- joint pain or tenderness that intermittently returns
- stiffness, particularly early morning stiffness
- joint swelling or deformity
- noticeable joint heat and redness
- joint movement is painful or difficult.
Please consult your doctor or physiotherapist for definitive diagnosis and individualised treatment recommendations.
General Arthritis Information
Rheumatoid Conditions - Overview
Osteoarthritis - Overview