We treat a variety of people in our North Oakville Physio, Massage, Acupuncture and Chiropody clinic. A common reason we see people is that something, generally pain, has prevented people from doing something that is important to them.
Many people when they experience pain see their family doctor first, to discuss their concerns. They may be sent for imaging like X-rays for more investigation before being referred to Physiotherapy or some other intervention.
The finding of osteoarthritis on an X-ray does not always indicate that it is the thing causing a person pain.
The severity of joint change does not always indicate the amount of pain a person will have or function.
So, what is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis or “OA” is the most common type of arthritis. We term OA as being primary or secondary. This means that for some, there is strong genetic component in developing OA, and for some it is more likely a result of a previous injury or repetitive use. Osteoarthritis is most common in the knees, hands and hips, but we can have joint changes anywhere in the body.
In OA, the cartilage, slippery surface that covers our joints, decreases and there are changes in the underlying bone surface. This causes the joint to sit closer together.
Some symptoms people may experience with OA:
- Joint stiffness
- Joint pain or achiness
- Redness and swelling at the joint line
- Range of motion changes in the joint
How is osteoarthritis treated with Physiotherapy?
A Physiotherapist will first do a through assessment of a person. We will ask what area is the issue, how it is affecting function and what a persons goals are. We’ll check range of motion, strength and functional movements.
Physiotherapy treatment for osteoarthritis depends on the above but generally will consist of:
- A physiotherapist may help you move the joint, and give you exercises to move the joint
- Strengthening exercises for areas above and below the joint to help with shock absorption and joint stability.
- Education for self care and pain control. This may include gradually progressing exercises, use of heat or ice, use of braces.
- Advice on footwear and gait devices. Initially the use of a cane or walker to get moving again can help offload a joint and allow increased activity levels.
If you have joint pain, stiffness or are finding that your activity levels are decreasing because of these things, we are here to help.
Our team of Physiotherapists can help with function and pain in osteoarthritis and get you moving better and back to activity. Our Massage Therapists can work on tight muscles around a joint and help with relaxing your pain system. Our Acupuncturist can help manage pain and inflammation. Our Chiropodist can help advise on footwear and provide custom orthotics to help offload areas of pressure and pain in the feet, ankles, knees, and hips.
Contact us to book an online or in person assessment with one of our Physiotherapists or an in-person visit with one of our other professionals.