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.
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!