Many arthritis sufferers mistakenly believe they must learn to live with their symptoms however osteopathy can improve their quality of life by relieving pain and improving mobility.
Arthritis is the generic name given to over 100 known diseases and conditions that damage joints, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues, hindering or preventing physical movement.
The most common form is osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis. It is generally associated with “wear and tear.” Osteoarthritis damages the cartilage between the bones causing them to rub together. Osteopathy and acupuncture are very effective at treating the symptoms of this.
The second most common form is an auto-immune disease called rheumatoid arthritis which is a form of inflammatory arthritis. This is more difficult to treat but sufferers can obtain benefit from osteopathy and/or acupuncture.
In the case of osteoarthritis the problems tend to build over a period of time, starting off more as a nuisance than a medical concern. However it is best to get treatment as soon as there is some indication as treatment can help inhibit the deterioration.
Osteoarthritis typically affects the weight-bearing joints i.e. the hips, knees and lower back although it does occur in other joints too such as the neck.
Common symptoms are:
– Joint pain after overuse or inactivity
– Stiffness that eases with activity
– Joint stiffness when you wake up
– Joint pain worse in the evening after day’s activity
– Poor co-ordination and posture when walking
– Referred muscle pain
– Inflammation around the joints
Causes of Arthritis
So what causes osteoarthritis? Basically we can break this down in to five categories:
Age – It is a fact that for many of us, our joints wear out as we get older. This is the “wear and tear” issue most people are familiar with.
Muscle Weakness – The muscles around a joint provide support to it. If these are weak then the joint has to compensate creating unnecessary wear.
Injury – In sports or work requiring repetitive movement the joints come under extra stress which can lead to damage.
Genetics – Some people are just more prone to the vagaries of osteoarthritis. It will quite often run in families.
Being Overweight – It stands to reason that the larger the force bearing down on a joint the more stress it is under hence again more wear and tear.
If you suspect you have some form of arthritis it is important that you get a proper diagnosis. Many of the people we treat at Touch2Heal have been referred to us from their local doctor.
The diagnosis will be based on your medical history and a physical examination. Blood tests, X-rays and MRI scans are extremely useful for comfirming the existance of arthritis.
If you suspect you have arthritis it is a good idea to keep a symptoms diary as this will aid in the diagnosis.
We cannot cure arthritis, nobody can. However the symptoms respond well to osteopathy and acupuncture.
Touch2Heal have lots of experience treating arthritis, achieving excellent results.
Our practitioners will aim to reduce your pain whilst increasing mobility. We will work the afflicted joints, muscles and ligaments using gentle osteopathic techniques including soft tissue massage, stretching, mobility and traction. Acupuncture can be a great help too.
We also advise on exercises to reduce muscle spasms, improve joint function and strengthen weakened muscles which will help reduce strain on arthritic areas.
In addition we give advice on diet and nutritional needs that can help too. If you’re in pain, please come and see us at our clinic in Ashford in Kent.
I’ve tried so many things over the years for my arthritis with little success so a friend suggested Cecile and acupuncture. I can hardly believe the difference it has made. I’m not really sure how it works but it does. It’s incredible.
My knees had become a real problem for me these past few years so I started seeing Sharron in Ashford. Since she started treating me the improvement I feel is wonderful. She showed me some exercises as well to strengthen my leg muscles and I walk everyday. It’s the best I’ve felt in years.