Have things got too much?
It’s amazing how much pain we can take before it becomes ‘too much’. We can go days, weeks and sometimes even years before it gets too much. But when we do, you know as well as I do that you want to be pain free yesterday.
I’m going to guess that as you are here, with me, reading this as the pain you are experiencing has got too much and you need help.
If this is the case, then I can happily say this may be the most important message you will read today.
Many people believe that nothing can be done, its down to their age or they will just have to live with it and take more pills. However, in most cases we can help so read on to see how.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis. Over 50% of people over the age of 65 suffer from arthritis. This type of arthritis begins years before any bone changes are found on x-ray. The impact of this disease process can be profound and the suffering immense. Poorly functioning joints do not tolerate loads and stresses, increasing the likelihood of osteoarthritis.
Arthritis is a problem of joints, and not a problem of old age.
When you are told that you have arthritis in your right hip and its down to your age, have you ever given thought to the fact that the left hip, which is fine and pain free, is just as old and has done just as many miles as the right hip. It can’t be down to age then but something else. How your joint functions is more important because a joint that does not function right will wear out quicker.
Just like the proper alignment of tyres on your car, osteopathy can maximize the “mileage” you derive from your joints.
To treat arthritis and eliminate joint pain, an accurate diagnosis of the joint, as well as all of the other possible problem sources, is vital. To treat arthritis with pain killers, without knowing the cause of the joint problem, is crazy. Covering up the pain usually leads to problems in other areas, and does nothing to fix the source of the problem! Injecting cortisone or some other steroid deteriorates the cartilage and leads to future joint destruction. Too many times, patients have been given the diagnosis of arthritis without an accurate diagnosis. Arthritis is not a normal sign of aging so patients don’t have to accept this rush to judgement type of diagnosis.
Osteopaths do not take arthritis away but they can often alleviate the pain and movement restriction that is often associated with the condition. Osteopaths are well suited to play a role in maintaining or increasing joint mobility and function. They are trained to help with many of the problems that older people get. Osteopaths work to reduce the advancement of wear and tear, helping your body to work at its best. Even when there is severe arthritis, gentle osteopathic methods can assist in maintaining a reasonable degree of mobility.
Regular osteopathic care aims to maximise movement and balance of muscles and joints, gently and within their current ability. Years of use and misuse of your body may not show its effect until your lifestyle changes (which can occur at any time, but especially at retirement). Wear and tear causes damage and stiffness in joints, muscles and ligaments that can result in pain and poor movement.
Osteopaths able to advise the patient in exercise. We can customize exercises that will allow the muscles to be strengthened. When your muscles are strong, less strain is placed on your joints.
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