Osteoarthritis Physiotherapist Milsons Point
Osteoarthritis is to be expected by all of us after a life well lived! You may have mild to moderate arthritis without pain. How you can do that is explained here at Physio Therapy Yoga. We tailor an exercise program specifically to your needs.
Using the combination of Physio and Yoga we can utilise a number of tools to help you. First we analyse your specific problem and biomechanics (how your body is aligned and balanced) and design exercises for your alignment, spinal health, stability, mobility and strength.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition affecting weight-bearing joints such as the spine, hips, knees and ankles.
In the initial stages, pain occurs in the joints as we start an activity and after an activity, but as the condition progresses pain may be experienced during movement and even during rest. Arthritis is ‘wear and tear of the joint surface.
The joint surface when we are young is smooth and friction-free. With wear and tear, or injury, the surface may get rough causing friction between the two surfaces when you move. Having said that the joint needs movement to help pump nutrients (synovial fluid) to the joint surface.
Factors increasing the likelihood of arthritis include
- Previous injuries.
- Overuse over time.
- An unbalanced center of mass (altered biomechanics of the body).
- Carrying excess weight for your frame.
- Inflamatory diseases.
- Postural imbalances.
Your symptoms may include:
- Pain – either with movement or at rest
- Stiffness or reduced range of movement
How you can slow its progress
- Keep the joint well lubricated with low impact type of movement eg swimming or yoga.
Joints in the body are surrounded by a capsule containing lubricating fluid called synovial fluid.
This fluid is squeezed through the joint with joint movement and provides nutrients to the joint surfaces.
- Avoid exercising where the joint swells afterwards.
Swelling occurs attracts more fibrous changes in the joint and can cause stiffness. The swelling itself causes pain.
- Move the joint regularly.
Fibrous changes grow into the joint like spider webs when you dont move; these get thicker and thicker over time.
Fibrous contractions contribute to joint stiffness, as do bony outgrowths (called osteophytes) from the joint margins seen on X-Ray. Osteophytes further limit movement.
With the correct type of movement fibrous contractions do not form so much.
- Balance your body’s alignment.
If there is more compression placed on a joint over time, osteophytes form. Bone grows according to the stress placed on it.
With even loading on the joint and balancing the muscles around a joint, irritation to the joint is minimised.
How Physiotherapy Helps.
Extend the life of your joint with Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is non invasive, nor does it involve medication.
Physio can reduce inflammation, and mobilise a stiff joint.
Physio can improve your biomechanics, how the joint and whole body moves, reducing wear and tear on the joint.
Physio can educate you how to care for your own body with exercise; stability, strengthening and mobility.
Strengthening is important to support the joint. Mobility os important for the reasons listed earlier on this page.
Yoga therapy, being low impact, strengthening and stretching, is excellent for managing arthritis.
Yoga moves the joints through their full range of movement stimulating synovial fluid providing nutrients to the joints. It is a low impact exercise requiring strong muscular work around joints, without causing further damage. Yoga is not just about flexibility, as many people think, it is about strength, balance, alignment and muscular control. It must be taught by a therapist knowledgeable about the human anatomy, injuries and mechanics.
Note: Depending on the cause and extent of your arthritis, exercise does not work for everyone. In this case assessment by a specialist Dr is advised. A-J lived with an arthritic knee for 20 years continiuing to bushwalk and snow ski by doing yoga. She was painfree most of the time.