Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease and is the degeneration or ‘wear and tear’ of articular (joint surface) cartilage usually accompanied by an overgrowth of bone (osteophytes), narrowing of the joint space, sclerosis or hardening of bone at the joint surface and deformity in joints. Osteoarthritis is not usually associated with inflammation, although swelling of the joint does frequently occur with osteoarthritis. Other forms of arthritis (rheumatoid, post-traumatic and other inflammatory disorders) frequently may have osteoarthritis in later stages thus, making differentiation between them difficult.

Some Causes of Osteoarthritis:
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease, sparing no age, race or geographic area. There are believed to be around 300,000 adults in Ireland suffering from osteoarthritis. Symptomatic conditions such as this (whereby symptoms pertaining to the particular condition are increasingly felt and experienced by the individual) increases with age. Many patients may have osteoarthritis as seen on x-rays and determined at medical screenings and examinations; but not be overly symptomatic.

Treatment Methods:
Treatment of osteoarthritis depends upon multiple factors including patient age, activities, medical condition and x-ray findings. Patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints (hips and knees) may benefit from a supervised exercise program such as walking and light exercise and stretching. A program of regular physical activity can strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the affected joints and preserve mobility in joints that are developing bone spurs. Remaining active, maintaining an ideal body weight, and exercising muscles and joints regularly are great ways to prolong joint life. Non-impact activities such as swimming, cycling, and walking tend to be more comfortable for patients with osteoarthritis. Benefit and relief can also be derived from traditional physiotherapy treatment, manipulation and massage therapy.

What we can do for you:
While osteoarthritis is a common condition that we regularly treat at PhysioCare, we make sure to treat every patient case as an individual and unique assessment each time. Before initial treatment we will discuss what you can and cannot do and establish realistic goals as to what you would like to derive from your treatment with us to help you get and feel better. If you find you cannot make it into the clinic, our Chartered Physiotherapists can travel to you in your home to treat you at a home visit. We can also give you a home exercise and stretching program to complete at home in between treatment sessions so that you can remain active and manage your pain when it strikes.

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