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Do you suffer with pain and/or stiffness associated with arthritis? There are a variety of treatment options we can use to help you move better, and return to doing the things you love.

 


What is Arthritis?

Arthritis refers to the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints in the body. Most patients experience joint pain and stiffness as the main symptom associated with arthritis, which can reduce function and quality of life. There are a number of different types of arthritis, with the most common types being osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Osteoarthritis is by far the most common type, affecting 1 in 5 Australians over the age of 45. In adults aged 75 and over, just over one-third of people experience this condition. It is more common among females than males. Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition, resulting from the gradual wearing and breakdown of the cartilage (lining of the joint ends). Over time this causes the bones to rub together, resulting in pain, swelling and restricted movement. Symptoms generally progress over time.

 

Joints commonly affected by osteoarthritis include:

  • hands
  • spine
  • hips
  • knees
  • ankles

This image compares the anatomy of a healthy joint with a joint affected by osteoarthritis. The image shows bone spurs, thinned cartilage and bone ends that rub together in osteoarthritis compared with a normal joint.

There are specific causes to osteoarthritis, however, there are some predisposing factors that might make some people more likely to experience it, including:

  • females
  • excess weight
  • repetitive loading of joints
  • genetic/hereditary factors
  • joint alignment issues
  • previous joint trauma such as fractures, dislocations

Chiropractic Treatment for Arthritis

Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are treatments available to help patients experiencing symptoms. Chiropractic treatment plays an important role for patients in the long term management of arthritis, with the aim of treatment being to manage pain, maintain joint mobility, and assisting people to keep healthy and active through the development of a tailored exercise program.

Your chiropractor will also be able to advise you on strategies to protect your joints, and provide guidance on activity modification with some of your daily tasks, to help with long term self-management.