Osteoarthritis and Osteopathy — Holistic Pain Relief

Osteoarthritis is amongst the leading causes of pain and disability in adults throughout the world. Most common in the over 45 age group, arthritis is actually a normal part of the ageing process as our joints are affected by wear and tear to some extent. The hips and knee joints are the commonly affected by osteoarthritis, however, a range of other joints are often affected, including the spine, the wrists, ankles, feet and hands.

Osteoarthritis causes the smooth cartilage of the joints to erode away and osteophytes to develop, which are like bony growths. As a result of this degenerative condition of the joints, movement is more difficult and can lead to stiffness, inflammation and pain. Strangely, the amount of degeneration of a joint doesn’t always correlate with the amount of pain experienced and all people are affected differently.

Whilst it most often occurs in middle aged and older people, arthritis can also affect many young people if they have suffered from previous joint injuries or suffer from another joint condition.

Treating osteoarthritis with osteopathy

Manual therapy is widely recognised as an effective way to help reduce joint pain from arthritis, as well as helping to restore or improve movement and flexibility of the joints. NHS guidelines strongly recommend a holistic approach to treating arthritis, alongside losing excess weight, exercising when possible and taking pain medication when necessary.

Osteopathy is a form of holistic, non-invasive therapy that uses a number of different hands-on techniques to treat osteoarthritis. Osteopaths not only treat painful or symptomatic areas of the body, but also look beyond to other bodily factors that could have led to a problem. Osteopathic treatment looks at the body as a whole and aims to improve whole-bodily function.

When treating arthritis, an osteopath works to release muscle tensions around the affected joint, helping to improve movement as well as encourage blood and lymph flow in the area to reduce inflammation and pain. As well as treating the joint, an osteopath will also look further to make sure that movement and loading is distributed evenly so that the body functions properly.

Osteopathic techniques for treating arthritis can include:

· Gentle manipulation

· Massage

· Stretches

· Recommendations for stretching exercises to do at home

If you are Halesowen or Wolverhampton based and suffer from osteoarthritis or know someone that does, you can contact Fiona Passey Osteopaths for more information on how osteopathy may help. Simply visit www.fionapassey.co.uk, call 0121 585 8555 for the Halesowen practice or 01902 894 894 for the Wombourne practice.