Broadly, arthritis may be divided into two types: degenerative and inflammatory.
Sometimes called degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints. OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.
It’s classic features of pain, stiffness and restricted mobility may often be eased and improved with osteopathic treatment.
Inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis is generally a systemic disease affecting not just joints but the whole body. Like osteoarthritis it produces sever pain, stiffness and often deformity.
Osteopathy can be helpful to relieve pain by treatment, exercises and diet advice.
There are many popular misconceptions about arthritis: “Degenerative changes on x-ray means that nothing can be done. Pain killers and anti-inflammatories are the only answer!” In fact, joint wear and tear is normal after the age of 35 and joint degeneration is not equivalent to pain.