Arthritis and Osteopathy
Arthritis is common in older people – although no-one can cure arthritis, you may find it useful to see an osteopath. Broadly speaking, arthritis can be divided into two types – Inflammatory and Degenerative.
The degenerative form is what we call Osteoarthritis (OA), more commonly described as ‘wear and tear’.
Patients usually feel this in weight bearing areas, usually their knees, hips or spine.
The classic features of pain, stiffness and restricted mobility may often be eased and improved with skilled osteopathic treatment.
Inflammatory arthritis such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is generally a systemic disease, ie affecting not just the joints but the whole body. Like osteoarthritis, it produces severe pain, stiffness and often deformity. Osteopathy may be helpful in addition to medication.
Osteopaths treat patients with arthritis every day. You may not have to put up with your pain! Our treatments can do a great deal to reduce pain, ease swelling and improve the mobility and range of joint movement.
Osteopathic treatment is a hands-on approach offering a package of care that is personalised to you. Treatment is aimed at improving mobility and reducing inflammation by using gentle, manual osteopathic techniques on joints, muscles and ligaments. You will be given positive advice related to your lifestyle about how you use your body. Age is no barrier to osteopathy since each patient is considered individually and treatment is gentle.
If the worst happens and conservative management from an osteopath can no longer manage the patient’s symptoms from hip and knee arthritis, a joint replacement may be required.
Dr Mike Evans provides a YouTube video that is designed to prepare patients in the best possible way for hip or knee replacement surgery. It discusses ways of increasing the chances of a positive outcome from surgery and anticipating common problems helping to manage expectations and to reduce patient anxiety.
The seven minute video clip suggests patients to seek strengthening exercises prior to surgery and encourages them to participate in rehabilitation (that might be provided by you as an osteopath) after.
The iO also produces a specific information leaflet for our patients focused at explaining how osteopathy can help, entitled “As You Get Older”.
Resources and Arthritis Information:
Excluding major catastrophic events causing premature death, aging and its associated conditions will affect all of us eventually. In the UK, it is estimated that 10 million people are affected by arthritis. Eight million of these live with the symptoms of the age related changes associated with osteoarthritis and these statistics are set to increase as a result of our ageing population. Musculoskeletal conditions in general have been identified as the main reason for the predicted rise in the numbers of older people who will become dependent on health and social care services over the next 25 years.
The iO (Institute of Osteopathy) Osteopathic Census suggests that over 80% of osteopaths treat patients over the age of 65 years often or almost exclusively, yet very few osteopaths specialise in geriatric medicine and there are few osteopathic courses that focus on the osteopathic approach towards the specific health needs of this growing patient group.
Have you ever been told that there is nothing to be done about the symptoms of old age? Hopelessness and depression are a major silent problem in the elderly. However, knowing where to find support and information that empowers those living with age related changes to self-manage can take some of the fear out of ageing and osteopaths have an important role to play in addressing this need.
The following sites provide clear, reassuring and evidence based advice resources that can supplement advice given by your osteopath in the consulting room and improve your care:
Founded in 1947, a year before the UK’s National Health Service was established, they provide support and teach people how to manage their condition through a self-management training program and support network. Arthritis Care also provide information booklets, the ‘Arthritis News’ eBulletin, four respite holiday hotels, and run local, national and international campaigns including Arthritis Care Awareness Week which will begins on 18 May 2015. You can access their website here.
Arthritis Research UK are the UK’s fourth largest medical research charity and fund scientific and medical research into all types of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain and osteoporosis. They publish over 60 high quality evidence based information booklets and online content designed to reassure and inform patients about their condition, its treatment, medications, therapies and self-management techniques as well as providing pragmatic living aids such as key turners, jar and can openers and pick-up aids for those that find mobility a problem.
Sufferers, or people who want to know more about arthritic conditions can look at the Arthritis Research UK eShop, or can download information (free) by clicking on the ‘shop’ and then ‘publications’ tabs here.
If you feel you would like to book an appointment, please call 07737 416906 (all clinics).