What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful joint condition that is the result of a number of movement, lifestyle and genetic factors. Approximately 56% of Australians are affected by this condition. OA is commonly associated with:
- Physical inactivity
- Poor Nutrition
AO can affect anyone no matter their age, gender or nationality. It generally affects peoples quality of life including disability, physical limitation and emotional and psychological distress.
How do I know if I have osteoarthritis?
The symptoms for Osteoarthrosis include:
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness.
- Catching, clunking or grinding in the joint
This condition may be diagnosed by a GP or Physiotherapist which will consist of a physical examination and imaging (X-ray).
How can physiotherapy help with osteoarthritis?
Physiotherapist can help you with osteoarthritis by giving you advice on how to manage your condition this can include ergonomic advice, strengthening exercises and strategies for managing daily activities. Splints, heat or massaging techniques may also be used to settle pain. Your physiotherapist will be able to provide you with a personal plan with how to manage these.
What can I do at home?
It is vital that you follow the guidelines of your physiotherapist. Resting is the best treatment when you have swollen/painful joints. You may apply heat by using wheat packs or a bath to help reduce pain. It is important to avoid activities that aggravate your symptoms. Your physiotherapist will be able to give you gentle exercises to improve your movement.
How long until I feel better?
Unfortunately, treatment for this condition includes managing it. You must rest when you have pain, take medication prescribed by your GP, avoid strenuous activities and make use of unaffected joints to complete activities.
If you would like to find out more please call us or book an appointment here.
Reference: Australian Physiotherapy Association 2019, Your Body, viewed 19 November 2019, < https://australian.physio/>.