As a chiropractor in Eastbourne, I regularly see patients with osteoarthritis. So, here is a little bit of information about what osteoarthritis is, how you can help yourself and how a chiropractor in Eastbourne can help you if you’re suffering from joint aches and pains.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as OA, is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. It is usually seen in patients over the age of 50 and is sometimes referred to as ‘wear and tear’ or degeneration of the joints. It starts gradually but can get worse over in time, due to a reduction in the space between the joints which can cause damage.
As you get older there is a larger risk of developing osteoarthritis. There are other factors that might make it more likely to develop osteoarthritis, such as obesity, previous damage to the joints and long-term overuse.
The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint pain and stiffness that is commonly worse first thing in the morning. There might also be some intermittent swelling of the affected joints. Osteoarthritis is commonly seen in weight-bearing joints including the hips and the knees. It is also common in the hands and fingers. For chiropractors, it is also common to see osteoarthritis in the spine. Although osteoarthritis is a common condition, it is important that it is diagnosed correctly and differentiated from other conditions (for example, other forms of arthritis). This is important so that the condition can be managed correctly.
However, it is also important to remember that symptoms of osteoarthritis vary a lot from person to person. Some patients I see in Eastbourne have severe osteoarthritis on medical imaging (x-ray or MRI) but only experience mild symptoms, whilst other patients have mild signs of osteoarthritis on imaging but experience a lot of pain and discomfort. This is why it’s important to manage each case individually, depending on the needs of the patient.
How is osteoarthritis managed?
Although osteoarthritis is a result of joint wear and tear, there are lots of ways to help manage it. It is very important to remember to keep moving, as exercise and weight loss are great ways to help manage the condition. In fact, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advise exercise as a core treatment, regardless of the age of the patient and severity of the patient’s symptoms.
The word ‘exercise’ can be very broad. So, to be more specific, both general exercise to improve and maintain aerobic fitness and local muscle strengthening exercises are helpful. General aerobic exercise can be achieved in a whole variety of ways – it doesn’t just mean going for a run. Cycling and swimming are both great ways of getting some aerobic exercise into your day and are very easy to achieve here in Eastbourne! You may also find that these are less likely to aggravate your symptoms. Muscle strengthening exercises vary depending on which joints of the body are affected but a chiropractor would be able to help you with these.
Can a chiropractor help with my osteoarthritis?
Yes! As a chiropractor in Eastbourne I regularly see patients with osteoarthritis. A chiropractor aims to help with problems that involve bones, muscles and joints. This means that we can help using a range of mobilisation, manipulation and stretching techniques with the aim of keeping you moving. A chiropractor can also give you more specific strengthening exercises to help with managing the condition. They can also advise you on which activities may aggravate your condition, and which are safe to continue doing.
Are you local to Eastbourne and struggling with joint aches and pains? If you have any questions or think a chiropractor in Eastbourne may be able to help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic, Eastbourne and I’d be happy to help you.
By Emma Johnson
Call now 01323 722499