First things first, let's clear up the most common misconception about arthritis - your bones are not crumbling away! We've lost count of the amount of times patients have told us that they have been informed by a medical professional that a diagnosis of arthritis means their joints are wearing away. In fact, we now that arthritis manifests in a number of ways, due to a number of reasons, on a wide spectrum of severity.
Arthritis basically means joint inflammation ('arthr' meaning joint, and 'itis' meaning inflammation). There are over 100 types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Most people at some point in their life will experience an arthritis. According to Arthritis Research, 8.75 million Brits sought treatment for osteoarthritis last year, and there are over 400,000 suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.
Most types of arthritis manifest as pain and stiffness in a joint, along with swelling, heat and redness. Diagnosis of an arthritis is often by clinical examination, Xray/scan, and sometimes a blood test. The most common joints affected are fingers, hips and knees. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to managing the condition and allowing people to enjoy their lives as long as possible. Severe cases of arthritis, or in situations where the pain caused affects most aspects of daily life, are likely to require the opinion of an orthopaedic consultant with a view to arthroscopic or joint replacement surgery. However, this should be the last resort as there is growing evidence that exercise therapy, along with physiotherapy, has a significantly positive effect on management of arthritic conditions.
Treatment for arthritis is dependent on the severity of the symptoms. Low grade arthritis can respond well to heat treatment, joint mobilisations, soft tissue techniques, acupuncture etc. For more severe arthritis, we find that Ostenil injections have a real beneficial effect along with a physiotherapy programme. Our aim here at Delta is to delay the need for surgery as long as possible, whilst allowing people to live as normal a life as possible.
Contact Us for further information on how we can help with arthritis.
*The information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice and we advise people to seek help for any complaint from one of our physiotherapists or other suitably qualified clinician.