Osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis, results from joint inflammation and deterioration, often affecting weight-bearing joints like hips and knees. However, other joints such as the spine and shoulders can also be impacted.
This condition can disrupt daily activities, prompting individuals to seek relief from a physiotherapist. These experts possess in-depth knowledge of osteoarthritis and its complications, enabling them to recommend treatments that enhance joint mobility and alleviate pain.
Engaging in simple physical activities like walking, swimming, or biking can be beneficial, potentially aiding weight loss and promoting a healthier lifestyle. This is particularly valuable, as obesity is sometimes linked to this ailment.
Essential to joint health is cartilage, a rubbery substance that cushions bone ends, reducing friction during movement. Synovial fluid further facilitates smooth joint motion. Deterioration of these protective elements results in bone-on-bone contact and subsequent pain.
Although the exact cause of osteoarthritis remains unclear, aging, genetics, past injuries, obesity, and repetitive movements are thought to contribute. Symptoms encompass stiffness, pain, and joint noises, while swelling and redness are less common.
Diagnosis typically involves X-rays, although a proficient physical therapist can often identify osteoarthritis without them.
Physiotherapy serves as a prominent treatment option. It can mitigate the need for surgery by addressing individual symptoms and crafting personalized exercise routines. Strengthening exercises and aerobics enhance overall well-being, while hands-on therapies like massage may be employed.
Preventing osteoarthritis entirely is not always possible, making therapy crucial for managing its progression and embracing a healthy lifestyle. Muscle strengthening and proper movement techniques help reduce joint stress. Therapy aims to alleviate pain while enhancing movement, flexibility, and strength. Collaborating with healthcare professionals ensures a comprehensive approach to managing osteoarthritis.