Osteoarthritis – Joint Disease

With the return of colder weather, those with arthritis are suffering. Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease and it is possible to have arthritis in any synovial joint; however the typical areas affected are the hips, knees, hands, low back and neck.

knee-osteoarthritis

Knee Osteoarthritis – source: canadadrugstop.com

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in a joint begins wearing down; this results in pain, swelling and stiffness. Sometimes the wear and tear can continue until the cartilage is gone, resulting in “bone-on-bone”. At that stage, osteoarthritis is very painful and many people opt for a joint replacement or other surgical intervention.

Before surgery becomes desirable there are many other options for treatment. You can and should consult with your physician to discuss options for pain management. 

Physical therapists can help too! Your Physical Therapist can make a plan to help manage the pain, and provide you with an exercise program to manage the swelling and stiffness. Your therapist can also assist you with options such as custom bracing. 

Unfortunately there is no cure for osteoarthritis but with proper management you can continue to lead an active and healthy lifestyle!

 

Alissa Hemsley is a physical therapist at our Callingwood location. To schedule an appointment to be assessed or if you have further questions on this condition, please feel free to contact the clinic.

 

Do you suffer from headaches or migraines?

Did you know that physical therapy, acupuncture, and massage therapy can all help treat headaches or migraines?

First, here is an overview of the more common types of headaches:

Tension headaches:

this is the most common type of headache and is usually felt as mild, steady, dull pain on both sides of the head

Migraine headaches:

a recurring headache that is often moderate to severe in pain, and is often felt as a pounding or throbbing pain to usually just one side of the head. It can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and/or sensitivities to light and sound

Cluster headaches:

the least common, it is usually the most severe and is felt as a stabbing pain behind one eye

The key to treatment is to figure out the cause of your headache. With tension headaches, physical therapy, acupuncture, and massage therapy are all effective ways to release tight and spastic muscles causing your headache. Physical therapists can also assess if a specific joint in your neck may be causing the muscle tension, thereby leading to the headache.

Migraines are believed to be caused by altered circulation to your head. In traditional Oriental medicine, the thought is there is a blockage in your energy flow, or your Qi (pronounced “chi”), in your head and neck. Acupuncture and specifically Shiatsu (or “finger pressure”) massage can help address these blockages and naturally restore your body’s energy flow to effectively treat your migraines.

For more information, please contact one of our clinics to see if one of these treatments can be beneficial to you. Cindy Bacchus, a registered massage therapist at our Grange location, is also specifically trained in Shiatsu therapy to help treat headaches and migraines.