Why arthritic pain can cripple an otherwise healthy and happy life.
Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation within the joints in the body. The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and these, along with other similar conditions, affect more than ten million people, of all ages, in the UK currently.
Osteoarthritis is the most common, affecting almost nine million people in the UK, with a higher level of incidence in women than men (a ratio of 2:1). Those with a family history of the condition are at an increased risk. Osteoarthritis is not a disease as such, it is related to general wear and tear of the muscles and joints and is caused when the cartilage in a joint becomes less smooth and thins out. This requires the tendons and ligaments to work harder and ultimately manifests in difficulty of movement, pain, and stiffness.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the joints are targeted by the body’s immune system (hence is an autoimmune disease) and pain and swelling gradually spreads across the affected area/s. This may cause the joint’s shape to change, leading to the breakdown of bone and cartilage. The condition affects more than 400,000 people in the UK, with women three times more likely than men to experience symptoms.
How can Osteopathy help?
Arthritis frequently affects the joints in the hands, spine, knees, and hips and within the clinic room, following an initial assessment, we can offer a range of techniques which are individually tailored to reduce tension in the muscles and work on improving mobility.
Acupuncture treatment can go a long way to significantly reducing the symptoms and pain, to better enable you to carry on as usual. It is particularly useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis in the knees and hands. We can’t ‘cure’ you but acupuncture is ideally placed to complement osteopathy and other strategies such as general exercise, pain medication, and weight loss to relieve pain, increase range of movement and improve quality of life.