Osteoarthritis can cause pain, discomfort and a loss of mobility in the joints. Our Manotick physiotherapists can work with you and your physician to integrate physiotherapy into your treatment plan.
While it may often be referred to as only 'arthritis', osteoarthritis is actually the most common type of the broader assortment of arthritis conditions.
Our physiotherapists can work with your primary care physician and with you to coordinate care, treatment and prescribed exercises with your pain management needs, fitness goals and long-term quality of life.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the inflammation of the joints in the body. Knees, hips and other load-bearing joints are most at risk of being impacted. This inflammation is caused by the deterioration of tissues and structures that help to keep joints healthy and properly functioning.
It's estimated that up to 1 in 4 people in North America may develop osteoarthritis at some point in their lifetime. While surgery isn't required to treat the condition, joint replacement procedures may potentially be recommended if the condition progresses to a severe stage.
The daily lives of osteoarthritis sufferers are impacted, and these individuals must manage the effects of the condition with strategies.
Some of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Joint stiffness after sitting or lying down for a long period
- Stiffness in your joints, especially after getting out of bed, which may take about half an hour to ease
- Joint pain when certain parts of the body experience pressure
- Pain during activity that isn't relieved with rest
- Increased bone growth around an affected joint
- A joint that cracks, creaks or crunches when it's moved
How can physiotherapy treat osteoarthritis?
Research has illustrated that light to moderate physiotherapy activities such as swimming, walking or biking can actually offer a much greater benefit to the joints of people with osteoarthritis than the discomfort they may cause.
While activity can aid in helping your joints to function, it's important that any activity you undertake is carefully planned and doesn't require you to overexert yourself, which can lead to injury or losing mobility long-term.
This is where our Manotick physiotherapists can help.
While your doctor will need to make the initial diagnosis of osteoarthritis, once you're certain that your joints are affected by the condition, there is plenty that the team at our physical therapy centre can do to help you feel more comfortable.
First, we'll conduct an assessment of your condition, needs and symptoms, including:
- Examining and assessing your movement to identify the extent of your symptoms
- Observe and record which activities are causing your difficulty
We'll design an individualized exercise program based on the results of the above observations to improve your movement and mobility. Some common interventions include:
- Provide recommendations to modify your movement and adjust your work and living spaces to lessen strain on your joints
- Recommend lifestyle changes to help support long-term health
- Manual therapy and adjustments of your movement to improve your mobility and help to alleviate some discomfort in joints that are affected
- Develop and help you implement a home exercise program to improve your strength, encourage your good health and support your movement
What exercises can be used to help treat osteoarthritis?
The specific exercise our physical therapists will prescribe to clients with osteoarthritis will be entirely dependent on the specific case. Depending on what joints are affected and how far along the condition is in its development, our physiotherapists will prescribe different exercises to target the individual needs.
With that being said, the following are some of the most commonly prescribed kinds of exercises at our Nepean physiotherapy clinics:
- Flexibility and Range of Motion Exercises - Including hamstring and hip flexor stretches
- Strength and Resistance Exercises - Including bridges, wall squats and step-ups
- Endurance and Aerobic Exercises - Including walking or swimming