Arthritis Pain Treatment
Causes of arthritis
People use the word arthritis to describe joint pain – but those pains aren’t always caused by the ‘common’ osteoarthritis pain people are used to thinking of.
Arthritis is a catch all word that means more than we often think. Arthritis can be the ‘wear and repair’ variety often associated with older joints, joints with unusual shapes or having past trauma to a joint. Also, it can also be part of a systemic condition, like rheumatoid arthritis. Joint pain generally can also be part of a health condition, like ankylosing spondylitis, or associated with health conditions – like psoriatic arthritis
And did you know you can even get arthritis from food poisoning or unprotected sex?
The word arthritis is only partly correct, as well. ‘Itis’ suggests inflammation, which is not always present.
What causes the joint pain of arthritis?
Let’s stick to osteoarthritis when we say ‘arthritis’. In this kind of arthritis, the joint itself is – for some reason – failing to undergo the normal processes of ‘wear and repair’. Cartilage tissue is constantly undergoing stresses and strains as a part of it’s job, but sometimes the usual wear and repair cycle gets disrupted. Sometimes that is because of an injury to the joint, which overwhelms the joint’s ability to heal. Sometimes it’s exessive strain on a joint. Theoretically, older people don’t always heal as well as younger people, which is why this might sometimes be associated with older people. Sometimes we just don’t know what is causing it. But in these cases, the mechanical repair process that normally keep the joint healthy is failing.
When that happens, there is more wear than repair, which results in a breakdown of the cartilage in the joint. As this happens, the bones can get closer together, causing stiffness. As they rub a bit closer to one another, they can grow spurs which limit the movement further. All of these things can cause irritation and swelling within the joint. And, in some cases – this can cause joint pain. This pain comes and goes, depending on the ‘wear and repair’ cycle.
(Not always – many people have quite severe arthrits on xray but they have no pain – pain is much more complicated than can be explained by anatomy!)
What can be done to prevent arthritis?
Because it’s sometimes hard to pin down what ’causes’ arthritis, it’s difficult to know how to prevent it. The best bet is to remain healthy and active. Keeping active keeps joints healthy and is in fact part of the treatment for arthritis! A healthy diet that aids in maintaining a normal immune system (healthy repair systems!) is bound to go a long way toward keeping your joints healthy.
What should I do if I have arthritis?
With osteoarthritis, osteopathic treatment and sometimes clinical sports massage can help you feel better, but can’t reverse the process. It will aways be provided alongside movement and strengthening exercises to help you and your joints be as healthy as possible. There are a lot of scams out there looking to prey upon people and to sell them supplements that do nothing – I’m happy to provide some nutrition advice to help you reduce your propensity for inflammation, where appropriate.
For other kinds of arthritis, you will likely need to be under medical care as well and there may be times when treatment is not appropriate. It’s important to both of us that you get the right care. Read more about me, and then book in today for an assessment at either the London or Ascot clinic. We can work together to make living with arthritis as comfortable and active as possible.