Osteoarthritis; 1 in 5 Australians are suffering.
What is osteoarthritis?
Arthritis Australia defines osteoarthritis (OA) as a condition affecting the joints and surrounding tissues in which inflammation can cause pain and stiffness in a joint/body part. We can associate this with a loss of the cartilage at the end of a bone, which used to be referred to as “wear and tear” but is no longer thought to be the major reason behind someone’s pain. Osteoarthritis often presents in a population who have not been consistently active throughout their lifetime, debunking the myth that this condition is caused by “wear and tear”. It is not yet known what starts the processes of OA in your joints, and currently it can be managed but not cured.
How can my physiotherapist help?
Your physiotherapist’s primary aim will be to restore and maintain your desired level of function. They will discuss your individual goals and tailor your management plan to give you the best chance of achieving these. They will guide you with some handy tips to help manage your pain. Your physiotherapist will liaise with your GP or other health professionals who are part of your team.
Exercise is an important part of your rehabilitation to build strength around these joints. This ensures you can continue to take part in the things you love; whether that is going for your daily walk or playing with your children and grandchildren. Because OA looks different for everyone, the exercises recommended for you will be different to those suggested for your partner or friend.
Sometimes these strategies are not enough to get you back to the things you love doing. Your physiotherapist may refer you to a specialist to discuss other options such as surgery when required. All the hard work you have done until this point should further help you prepare for surgery and help with the recovery process.
The best thing for your health is prevention. Research shows that if you aim to maintain a healthy weight and lead an active lifestyle, this can reduce your chances of developing OA. For example, they found that incidences of OA were less in recreational runners than people who are mainly sedentary.
Symmetry Hoppers Crossing and Taylors Lakes offer the GLA:D program.
GLA:D®, or Good Life with Arthritis: Denmark, is an education and exercise program developed by researchers in Denmark for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms.
To find more information about the GLA:D program click here…
Unsure of how to get started or need help manage your current joint pain. Book in with your physiotherapist at Symmetry Physiotherapy.
None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual condition.