Commonly known as the 'wear and tear' disease and is a degenerative form of osteoarthrits (OA). The cartilage functions as a shock absorber, but with OA the cartilage is worn down and the joint surface becomes rough, leaving the bones unprotected.
OA is a very common form of arthritis. OA affects 1 in 6 New Zealanders. It commonly begins after the age of 40years old. There is no known cure for OA but there are many ways to help manage the condition. OA normally occurs in the hands and weight bearing joints. These maybe include the hips, knee's, spine and feet.
Stiffness of the joint on getting out of bed or after sitting for a prolonged period
Pain around the joint
Creaking or crackling sensation around the joint, with movement
Age- OA normally occurs after 40 years of age
Excessive weight- The increased body weight puts more pressure on your joints and increases your chances of developing OA
Gender- One risk factor you can not influence is your gender. Women are more likely to develop OA than males
Heredity- If there is a family history of OA, you are more likely to develop OA
OA is diagnosed by physical examination, symptom presentation and xray images.
Pain killers- Speak to your local pharmacist or GP to recommend some pain medication to relieve the pain
Exercise- Keeping active is an effective way of relieving pain + stiffness, maintaining joint function, improving muscle strength, protecting your joints, managing your weight and increasing energy + sense of well-being. Example include: Tai Chi, walking, swimming, gentle exercise classes and hydrotherapy
Heat or cold
Surgery- Joint replacements are an option for severe OA
Wear supportive shoes
Maintain a healthy weight
Osteopathy is a very effective form of treatment for OA. Treatment is aimed at reducing pain, increasing function of the affected joint/joints, reducing stiffness + swelling, improving function of other joints which are used to compensate to the effected OA joints. Treatment also includes tailor advice to the client in ways they can manage the pain and try continue a normal life.