Osteopathy and You: Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is often regarded as a permanent degenerative condition that cannot be cured. Whilst it is true that the structural effects of arthritis cannot be reversed, osteopathy can be very effective in not only slowing the onset of this painful condition, but also in reducing the pain and immobility associated with arthritis.
Arthritis occurs when a joint becomes inflamed or degenerates. The surrounding muscles then contract to protect the joint by decreasing its mobility. This is a sensible muscular reaction designed to protect the joint should it be injured, however this reaction also increases pressure in the joint, this pressure increases the friction within the joint, this friction increases the inflammation, and a vicious spiral establishes itself leading to a worsening arthritic condition. It is possible to break this cycle using osteopathy, and establish a more virtuous pattern of cause and effect.
Using osteopathic techniques, the inflamed joint can be treated to reduce the muscle stiffness. This makes the joint more mobile, and increases the space available within the joint for it to move. This reduces the friction, and therefore leads to less inflammation, and in turn less pain. It is important to take the advice of your osteopath regarding activity levels to ensure that the joint returns to its maximum potential without incurring any further damage.