Arthritic Pain and Arthritis
There are many different types of arthritis which cause pain and inflammation in your joints. The joints most commonly affected are those in the hands, spine, knees and hips. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most well-known and frequent types of arthritis.
It is not uncommon for these conditions to respond better when treated using a combination of therapies, for example, osteopathy and acupuncture. This is where our team approach will help find the most appropriate path for you.
What is Arthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type in the UK, affecting around 9 million people.
Most often, this develops in people in their mid-40s or older and is more common in women, and people with a family history of the condition. However, it may happen at any age as a result of an injury or be associated with other joint-related conditions, such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.
In the UK, rheumatoid arthritis affects over 350,000 people, mainly beginning when people are between 40 & 50 years old. Women are three times more likely to suffer from this condition than men. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling.
Other types include cervical spondylosis which affects the joints and bones in the neck, which can lead to pain and stiffness. Fibromyalgia which causes pain in the body's muscles, ligaments and tendons. Gout – can be found in joints (usually affecting the big toe) but can develop in any joint. It causes intense pain, redness and swelling.
Secondary arthritis – a type of arthritis that can develop after a joint injury and sometimes occurs many years afterwards
Many young people, especially those in office jobs are showing the symptoms of earlier and earlier. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle too, because without treatment arthritis only get worse with age.
Sore hands? It could be because you’re always on the move, typing all day, moving a mouse, or worse, a trackpad. Using a keyboard may be essential for your livelihood so you can’t stop without quitting your job, putting your family under financial stress.
Chances are you’ve developed the condition from repetitive motions where the joint cartilage is slowly worn away. This results in pain varying in severity depending on its progression. Often stiffness in the joints or fingers renders the sufferer unable to use their hands properly or walk with a full range of motion.
Other symptoms include:
• Swelling at the joint and redness
• Fatigue and muscular pains
• Decreased joint mobility
These can lead to poor sleep, losing an excessive amount of weight and feeling tired and run-down on a regular basis. The pain can be persistent enough to stop you exercising, which can lead to other secondary health concerns further down the line.
If left unchecked, it is a progressive disorder that gets worse with age. If no changes are made to your lifestyle to adapt to arthritis, you’ll experience increased stiffness and lack of movement and more pain as your joints lose their cartilage completely.
Getting arthritis at an early age can have drastic effects on the rest of your life, so if you’ve seen the early warning signs, it pays to get your hands, knees and hips checked out.
The first thing to determine is if it’s really this condition you’re suffering from. There’s a chance your recurring joint pain may not actually be arthritis so this has to be ruled out first.
However, if you have already been diagnosed or if one of our therapists (not just an osteopath that would spot it) recognises your disorder, there is a way forward. You cannot reverse the damage done to your cartilage, but it is possible to reduce your pain and alleviate many of the symptoms stated above.
At The Heeler Centre, our therapists can help you by increasing joint mobility, relieving muscle tension, enhancing the blood and nerve supply and helping your body’s healing mechanisms.
It may also help to have contact with other people in a similar situation to your self. This Charity may be a good resource for you.