Arthritis means ‘Inflammation of the joints’. In the UK, around 10 million people have arthritis. It affects people of all ages, including children. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (8 million) and rheumatoid arthritis (0.4 million). There are over 100 joint conditions which are covered by the term arthritis, including some soft tissue diseases. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, followed by rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
Osteoarthritis, which used to be referred to as “Wear & Tear Arthritis”, is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting around 8 million people. It often develops in people who are over 50 years of age. However, it can occur at any age as a result of an injury or another joint-related condition. Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. This makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage (connective tissue) between the bones gradually erodes, causing bone in the joints to rub together. This can lead to swelling and the formation of bony spurs, called osteophytes. The joints that are most commonly affected are those in the hands, spine, knees and hips.
Osteopathic Approach to Osteoarthritis
Whatever the age that a patient might present with osteoarthritis, the our approach is to (1) target treatment in and around the affected joint(s) to help relieve symptoms; (2) target treatment to improve the condition of the muscles and other tissues around the joint and related areas of the body; (3) we provide tailored exercises for our patients to strengthen their joints for long term management.