Canadians of all ages can experience joint pain. This incredibly common condition can impact Canadians of all ages. While joint pain in the wrists, knuckles, hips and knees is often associated with conditions under the umbrella of arthritis, not all joint pain indicates developing arthritis.
Living a sedentary lifestyle such as working in an office all day, overactivity with exercises such as running or other unrelated health conditions can cause or contribute to joint pain. That said, arthritis is estimated to affect 1 in 4 people in North America at some point during their lives - especially as they enter their senior years.
Arthritis is a group of conditions that impact the joints in an individual's body, causing inflammation in the joints and causing loss of mobility or pain with a range of different root causes.
There are two especially common forms of arthritis found in our patients: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
This type of arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can affect any joint in the body and cause heat and pain in the joints, along with stiffness and loss of mobility.
While rheumatoid arthritis can physically affect your joints, mobility and quality of life, it may be a bit more difficult to identify since it is an autoimmune disease. This is due to the fact that there aren't as many physical causes for the pain you are experiencing.
One of the most common kinds of arthritis is often what people mean when they talk about "arthritis".
Wear and tear can gradually affect the joints over time, resulting in cartilage (which cushions the movements of bone against bone in your joints to ease movement) slowly wears away. The resulting feeling of "bone on bone" movement, swelling and bone spurs in the affected joints can become painful.
Osteoarthritis most often impacts joints that bear the load of your weight, such as knees and hips, since they are used most consistently over the course of your life.
Since physical changes in your joints cause osteoarthritis, the condition can be relatively easy to detect and diagnose.
Physiotherapy Treatments for Joint Pain
The underlying cause of your joint pain will determine which treatment option your physiotherapist will recommend. These may include the following.
Passive Therapies & Physical Activity for General Joint Pain
Causes of joint pain can include overuse of a joint, injury and the impact of your lifestyle on your overall health. If you are experiencing more common types of joint pain that are often benign, your physiotherapist may recommend more preventive treatments.
Our Manotick physiotherapists are committed to working with you to manage any pain in your joints that may be related to non-ergonomic office work, excessive exercise and other causes.
Along with helping manage any joint pain you may be experiencing, our physical therapists can also prescribe preventive treatments to help prevent your joint pain from recurring.
These treatments can include passive physiotherapies, including acupuncture, massage or hot and cold therapies. Activities such as stretches may also be prescribed to help restore strength and support to the affected joints.
Massage & Exercise Therapy for Osteoarthritis
Physiotherapy for osteoarthritis will depend on an assessment of the development of your conditions. Our physical therapists will examine your movement to determine the extent of the symptoms in your joints as well as observe and record any particular movements and activities that may be causing you trouble.
Once we have assessed the severity of your condition, we will create an individualized treatment plan for your condition, including treating pain, restoring mobility, and supporting your movement. Some of these treatments may include lifestyle changes, massage therapy, modification of your movements and exercise routines, and at-home exercise programs.
If osteoarthritis becomes more severe and progresses throughout your life, it may also require treatment with joint replacement surgery. And while, when this condition has advanced to the point where joint replacement surgery is required, physiotherapy will have limited applications - after and before your procedure our Manotick team can work with you to support your body's recovery from this invasive operation.
Lifestyle Changes for Rheumatoid Arthritis
The treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are quite similar for those designed for osteoarthritis, but will be tailored to your specific case.
Since the root cause of your joint inflammation in this case is an autoimmune issue, lifestyle shifts such as nutritional changes can be critical in tandem with other active and passive physiotherapy treatments.