What is arthritis?
Arthritis describes the “wear and tear” joints face throughout their life span. During this process, cartilage get worn away and is replaced with bone to help strengthen the joint. In turn, this causes joint spaces to get too narrow and irritated. There are many types depending on how the wear and tear occurs; either naturally throughout the life span and due to weaknesses or malfunctioning immune responses causing the body to attack its own joints.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the damage to the joint surfaces as a result of physical load (day-to-day activities). This is usually caused when the load out-weights the strength of the surrounding muscles, thus the joint takes the load. What results is thinning/damage of cartilage (protects joint surfaces) and deposits of bone being placed where the thinning occurs over time. This process can take a while but will create permeant joint changes that are irreversible.
Symptoms of arthritis
Symptoms vary depending on the severity and can also come and go depending on life’s demands. Lot of people can even have arthritis underlying and don’t get symptoms until the joints are placed under demand or an injury occurs in a similar area.
This is due to the body becoming hyperaware and protective of arthritis to prevent further wear and tear. Thus the muscle spasms surrounding ‘worn’ joints to prevent further movement and thus limit further “wear and tear”. This means that massage is a very useful technique when it comes to the treatment OA. Relaxing the surrounding muscles will significantly reduce pain in most cases.
OA most commonly occurs in the shoulders, lower back hips and knees as these joints are usually placed under the highest loads due to being weight-bearing joints.
There are many different treatments available for arthritis. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss options.
Blog by Christian Monks