The most common type of arthritis we see is Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis means that one or more, normally weight bearing joint (such as a hip or knee, or a joint that’s regularly put under compression and pressure such as shoulders and hands) have become irritated as the cartilage can become a bit 'roughed up' leading to inflammation, pain and stiffness. In worst cases the cartilage gets very worn and medical attention and advice is required for possible interventions. This 'wearing' can happen over time, sometimes due to the way your body moves or the way we use and load our joints. This stress on the joint aggravates the soft and hard tissues in and around the joints causing stiffness and pain; this can be felt at rest and in certain activities where the joint is under pressure.
Some people can be more prone to osteoarthritis if, for example, you were born with or have developed a joint or bone length/shape abnormality, after surgery or injury to the bones or with certain conditions. In some situations, such as those mentioned above, the joints can be more vulnerable to force as there may be less 'cushioning' or space in the joint to deal with forces.
There are lots of things that osteopaths can do to help you with osteoarthritis. Advice and information about your joints and the surrounding muscles, as well as hands on work to help relieve the tensions around the affected joint can help you manage the pain and keep the joint as healthy and mobile as possible.