Osteoarthritis and Pain

Osteoarthritis and Pain

Today’s topic can be a real pain in the joint!

Many of you have or know someone with arthritis in their knees, hips, back, shoulders, neck or just about anywhere in the body.

It is a very common diagnosis but doesn’t mean the end of you enjoying your life.

You may be aware that the average waiting period on public waiting lists for elective joint surgeries in Western Australia is now around 6 months, however you may not be aware that a lot of these surgeries can be avoided or at least pushed back a considerable margin.

This is possible through having a chat with your local physiotherapist.

Arthritic pain, be it osteo- or rheumatoid or any other form, can easily be managed conservatively.

But what is conservative management?

Conservative management is an umbrella term for anything other than surgery!

Did you know most joint pain can and usually does improve with a management plan involving pain medication / anti-inflammatories, a graded, progressive exercise program, acupuncture / dry needling and physiotherapy treatment?

In fact, the best possible thing for arthritis of joints is to start moving and continue to move in a planned manner on a consistent basis (Brosseau et al, 2017a). I know this sounds counterintuitive considering it is from these very movements during your life which caused the ‘wear and tear’ and now results in pain and could speed up the process of joint breakdown. In fact, stopping exercising is actually the single worst thing you could do for an arthritic joint.

Our joints are made to move and even though your current pain and stiffness with movement says otherwise, it will actually improve if you move more. If you exercise in a managed, graded manner then your joint pain, stiffness, and general function will improve or at least slow the decline and so requirement for costly surgery and rehabilitation afterwards.

There are many types and forms of exercise you could do including hydrotherapy, a joint mobility program, stretching program, strengthening program, aerobic exercise or group exercise classes. 

Studies show even performing Tai-Chi or Qigong helps improve pain and function to do with arthritis (Brosseau et al, 2017b).

Physiotherapy treatment can also help provide instant pain relief to help you start your personalized exercise program through many different methods. These include manual therapy, massage, dry needling, stretching and general advice.

If you’re struggling with arthritic joint pain then please book an appointment with myself or Steve today by clicking here. We can help get you on the right track and get back in control of your body today!

Brosseau et al. 2017a. The Ottawa panel clinical practice guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis. Part two: strengthening exercise programs. Clinical Rehabilitation: Vol 31, Issue 5, pp. 596 – 611          

Brosseau et al. 2017b. The Ottawa panel clinical practice guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis. Part one: introduction, and mind-body exercise programs. Clinical Rehabilitation: Vol 31, Issue 5, pp. 582 – 595.