Arthritis is an inflammation of any joint. There are two types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is often described as a wear and tear of the joints caused by age, repetitive actions, and obesity and also altered postural and biomechanics (movements of the body) such as a past trauma, growth of the body, and a traumatic experience such as birth, or a vehicle accident.
Rheumatoid arthritis is described as an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own tissue. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the entire body with the most often affected joints being the ankles, feet, hands, knees and wrists.
The joints can be warm, tender and swollen. Typically there is a discoloration of the skin over the joint that looks purplish. Joint deformities of the hands and feet as the disease progresses are quite common.
The symptoms of arthritis center on the joints due to inflammation so specific movements and treatment techniques are used by the osteopathy medicine clinicians to encourage the movement of fluid around the joints and tissues to help in the removal of the inflammatory substances from the joints. The techniques used also reduce the pain of arthritis. Diet and lifestyle can also help to reduce symptoms of arthritis.
X-rays, blood tests, and MRI scans may be used to help assess the extent of the arthritic condition. Even though nothing can be done to undo the damage already done by arthritis osteopathic treatment can help to reduce the pain, swelling, and improve mobility and range of motion of each joint involved. Osteopathic treatment can help with neck pain, low back pain and swelling, hip pain and lack of mobility, and early morning stiffness.
The treatment’s goal is to improve the mobility and to reduce the swelling by using gentle, manual osteopathic techniques on each of the affected joints, on muscles, and also on ligaments. Exercises at home in warm water or salt baths may be suggested as well as other exercises and lifestyle changes designed to improve function and reduce pain.
You Can Do It
No patient needs to accept the advice that there is nothing that can be done about the pain and suffering of arthritis. Exercise, diet changes and lifestyle changes along with osteopathic treatment can over time reduce the pain, and increase mobility. No patient is too young or too old to receive osteopathic treatment and care by those who are dedicated to helping your body to heal itself.
No person should suffer needlessly. It is possible for your body to heal itself once osteopathic treatment has better aligned the body and allowed the various body parts to work in harmony to help the body to better function, and to restore health to the body parts as well as to heal tissue as the body reduces pain and inflammation.