Arthritis, can affect most joints of the body, knuckles, wrists, knees and hips being the most commonly affected. Swelling, stiffness and pain are the main features. Commonly known as wear and tear and medically known as Spondylosis, it is a degeneration of the cartilage that covers the joint surfaces.
In essence, the cartilage, the slippery, shiny material covering all the joint surfaces, allows smooth glide on movement. As we get older, or if a joint is used to excessively, the cartilage develops pits and loses its shiny surface. This causes joint stiffness, which in turn causes inflammation and protective muscle spasm to set in. Here, a vicious circle develops, pain and stiffness set into a joint, causing the patient to restrict movement in the belief that rest will relieve the symptoms. However, lack of movement causes increased joint stiffness, leading to more inflammation and pain when the individual moves the joint again. The key to arthritis is to keep moving the area regularly.
Osteopathy will not cure arthritis, however, treatment introduces movement into a joint painlessly and works on the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Advice on exercise, lifestyle and nutritional influences are also an integral part of dealing with Osteoarthritis.