Arthritis literally means “joint inflammation”. There are many different types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis which is age-related degeneration of the joints. When there is a suspicion of arthritis, one needs to carry out some tests to exclude inflammatory causes.
“Arthritis” is very much overdiagnosed as a cause of pain, especially in the elderly. Every person over a certain age will have X-ray signs of osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, when patients sometimes complain of pain, an X-ray is taken which very often shows evidence of osteoarthritis. The patient is told that the pain is caused by arthritis and that this is a normal ageing process and that there is nothing one can do.
Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.
At The Pain Clinic, you will be assessed by a doctor who will discuss your condition in detail and examine you. Any investigations which have already been done will be checked and the need for further tests will be discussed.
Once the diagnosis is clear, a plan is made for quick and effective pain relief together with a tailor-made physiotherapy program. Diet, exercise and sleep patterns are explored as well as the impact of pain on your quality of life.
When it comes to pain relief for arthritic conditions, there are a number of herbal options which help also with the inflammatory component of the pain. Turmeric, Omega 3, Glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM are sometimes recommended. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to be very effective at reducing pain and inflammation with minimal side effects.
Regular follow-ups help to ensure that the patient is pain-free and compliant to the exercise program. If the patient’s pain levels increase for some reason, advice will be given on how to reduce the pain and prevent it from worsening again.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA), commonly referred to as degenerative joint disease or simply as OA, is a common degenerative condition that can affect individuals of any age but is especially common in the older adult.
OA is the most common of a number of degenerative conditions and affects millions of people worldwide. OA occurs due to a combination of changes including the growth of bone spurs and the degeneration of cartilage (the joints natural cushioning). Whilst OA can affect any joint in the body, it is most common in the knees, hands, hips and spine and often leads to joint replacement surgeries as symptoms gradually worsen.
What can you do about it?
Unfortunately, there is currently no complete medical cure for degenerative joint diseases but there are a number of opportunities to help relieve the symptoms experienced. The most important facets of treatment include remaining active and maintaining a healthy weight. Feel free to contact us to receive tailor-made solutions on how to remain safely active and which activities one should participate in.
Physiotherapy for Arthritis
Our Physiotherapy team will:
- Perform a detailed assessment, taking a history of your symptoms and a physical examination.
- Plan a treatment program to suit your needs. This treatment program will be discussed with any other relevant team members to ensure high-level and holistic care.