Why osteoarthritis shouldn’t stop you from living your best life

Most people have heard of the term osteoarthritis and I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is an elderly person’s knee which creaks and cracks as it moves, causes pain when walking and is stiff in the morning and cold weather. Sounds pretty debilitating right?

Well what if I told you that osteoarthritis can actually be managed and treated?

First, we have to understand what osteoarthritis is and why it causes the symptoms that it presents with.

Osteo (bone) and arthritis (pain/inflammation of bone) can be caused by a number of factors. It is essentially “wear and tear” of the joint! There are many factors which can be the cause for someone to suffer from osteoarthritis. Some of these factors cannot be modified such as genetic pre-disposition or previous surgical interventions. However, there are a number of factors that we CAN modify to reduce our risk of developing osteoarthritis, but also to manage and treat osteoarthritis when it is already present.

So what are these modifiable factors?

Let’s start with weight loss. Weight loss is a great way to assist with the management of knee osteoarthritis. The knee is a weight bearing joint and the easiest way to reduce the stress placed on the knee joint is to lose weight. Losing weight is easiest through diet modification and actually not by increasing daily activity levels. A mars bar has about 230 calories and to burn that amount of calories, most people would need to walk for at least 1 hour! However, this doesn’t mean you have a free pass to be a couch potato, activity is another very important part of managing your osteoarthritis.

Another modifiable factor is joint muscle strength. Muscles act as the support for a joint. Increased strength of the muscles which surround a joint means more load will be taken off of the joint itself. Along with this, any joint misalignment that was previously present will more than likely improve.

At Unique Physio our expert clinicians can offer dietary advice, strategies and exercise which will assist with safe joint strengthening, while simultaneously improving your movement patterns so you move better and feel better!

Do you suffer from osteoarthritis? What do you currently do to manage it? Book in for a free initial assessment.

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