Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition of the joints and is the most common type of arthritis. It most regularly affects the weight bearing joints; knees, hips, back and neck but is also found often in the thumb and index fingers in the hands. Unless there has been trauma to other joints in the body, such as strains, sprains or fractures previously they are rarely affected by this degenerative joint condition.
It is not uncommon for a person with known arthritis of one joint to develop it in another, though this is not always the case. Most people don’t develop OA until over the age of 45 but it can occur in younger people. It has often been told that osteoarthritis is a “normal” part of aging and should just be accepted but this is not always the case. There are a variety of treatments, exercises and lifestyle changes that can be implemented to ease the symptoms of joint stiffness, inflammation and pain as well as slow the progression.
X-rays are not always needed to diagnose osteoarthritis but if they are considered necessary your chiropractor will discuss it with you. Just because a joint is painful it does not mean it is arthritis, there are many other conditions that can create pain and inflammation in joints.
We use a variety of tests: neurological, orthopaedic, palpation and postural to find out whether or not arthritis is likely to be the issue. If you already know you have osteoarthritis we can develop a bespoke plan to keep you moving, improve mobility and help reduce the symptoms. Not every person suffering with osteoarthritis will need to have a joint replacement either; again each person is different and is assessed on an individual basis.