osteoarthritisOsteoarthritis is a condition affecting the joints seen regularly in our clinics. It is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, with an estimated 8.5 million people affected by the condition.

There are three characteristics of osteoarthritis:

• Damage to cartilage – the strong, smooth surface that lines the bones and allows joints to move easily and without friction is compromised.
• Bony growths developing around the edge of the joints.
•Mild inflammation of the tissues around the joints (Synovitis).

Osteoarthritis mostly occurs in the knees, hips and small joints of the hands, but almost any joint can be affected. Osteoarthritis usually develops in people over the age of 50, and it is more common in women than in men. It is commonly thought that osteoarthritis is an inevitable part of getting older, but this is not true. Younger people can also be affected by osteoarthritis, often as a result of an injury or another joint condition.

Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain. Appropriate exercise is vital to maintain strength and flexibility of muscles supporting the knee, which reduces the stress on the knee joint. See the Knee Pain (link to knee pain section please) section for further information .

The cornerstone for successfully managing your osteoarthritis is starting an appropriate exercise program to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints and promote general aerobic fitness as soon as possible. This treatment method is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for Osteoarthritis (to read all of their recommendations please follow the link below).

At Anston Physiotherapy Dinnington, Chesterfield and Doncaster we can show you how to successfully implement a specific exercise program for your condition. Contact us for an appointment.

Click this link for the NICE guidelines on Osteoarthritis care