Arthritis affects 3.85 millions Australians. That equates to 28% of the population. It is something we heard about regularly, but many do not understand the condition. We know osteoarthritis happens as we get older, but not many of us actually know why it happens. Typically osteoarthritis is most known for affecting those over 50 years of age.
Osteoarthritis can occur secondary to major injuries that happened earlier in life, and it can also be more likely to be passed on to the next generation if it is a common condition in the family. People in more physical and manual jobs may be more likely to develop osteoarthritis after micro traumas on the joints from heavy physical work.
Osteoarthritis begins by the breaking down of the superficial layer of bone within a joint. It is said that there is a weakening of this superficial layer called the cartilage, which is a layer covering the outside of our bones. The body responds by sending inflammation to the area to try and repair the damage. This can been seen as swelling over the joint.
The bones will try and repair by laying done new bone. Unfortunately the new bone isn’t necessarily placed over the exact spot where the bone is now damaged, and random jagged edges of bones are formed. These are named Osteophytes. These jagged edges show with deformity over the joint which people are able to see and typically associate with arthritis. This pattern continues and more inflammation will gather and the joint will gradually stiffen.
What a lot of people do not realise is there are so many ways you can help ease the symptoms of this condition. Osteopathy being one of many. Osteopaths will work with the muscles and joints to reduce tension, reduce inflammation and improve mobility. Osteoarthritis can be a painful and debilitating condition, but there are ways to help reduce your pain other than pain killers.
If you or someone you know is suffering from Osteoarthritis, call us for a chat on 9553 9823 or book in online with an Osteo.
You are not doing this alone and we are here to help! 🙂
Written by Phillipa Craske – Osteopath