Osteoarthritis

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis changes the cartilage and fluid of our joints.  These changes can lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness. Unfortunately, all of those changes causes difficulty using our joints.  Osteoarthritis occurs mostly in the hips, knees, lower back, fingers, and digits in the hand. Very rarely, but the shoulders can be affected as well. It’s possible that other joints become targeted but this happens usually as a result of joint injury or unusual stress on that particular joint. At times these injuries and or stresses happen in an auto accident or from a work related accident. 

Many people suffer from Osteoarthritis. However, not everyone who suffer from OA have symptoms. OA can be serious, but symptoms may be lessened if treated. It’s important to see a doctor to get diagnosed correctly and be placed on a treatment plan. The clinicians at the Injury Care Center have the experience to diagnosis and treat this condition. 

Let’s break down Osteoarthritis. Within a normal joint, there is a material called cartilage that covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a gliding surface so it moves freely and to help cushion that joint. With osteoarthritis, this cartilage that covers the bones begin to break down. As a result, this leads to the symptoms of pain, swelling, and stiffness. 

One of the first symptoms someone may feel in the beginning stages of osteoporosis is joint stiffness. This stiffness may be felt during or after use of a specific joint.  At times, stiffness is felt with not moving that joint for a period of time. For example, someone may feel most of their stiffness in the morning but after moving for a period of time that joint stiffness decreases because the fluid within that joint starts to move around that joint. Also, the muscle that surrounds that joint begins to heat up and blood flow increases. Then, maybe later in the day that stiffness returns with associated pain as well. 

Here are some facts

  • Usually begins after the age of 40
  • Affects few joints and may occur on both sides of the body
  • Swelling and warmth are usually felt
  • Morning stiffness is usually common at a times may be sever
  • Only affects, usually, hips, knee, hands, and spine
  • Usually develops slowly

The biggest question we get at The Injury Care Center in regards to osteoarthritis is what the cause is. Although there are factors that contribute to OA, the cause is not known. Left review some factors that may increase the risks of developing OA. These factors include heredity, joint injury, repeated over use of certain joints during certain occupational activities, and aging.  Whatever the factor, it’s important to maintain muscle strength and a healthy weight. This will help keep your joints healthy, reduce/prevent pain, and most importantly keep your independence. 

So how can it be managed? 

Help your health-care team make the best treatment plan for you. Our team at the Injury Care Center can put together a good treatment plan to help with increasing strength, alleviate pain levels, and increase joint movement. Our treatment program will be based on the severity of the disease, what joints are affected, and what your symptoms are. Some other considerations that will be taken will be your age, your occupation, and what normal activity levels are. With the help of our physicians and other health-care providers we will come up with a program that will meet your needs. A good program may include Physical therapy, Chiropractic care, and treatment form one of our physicians. At the Injury Care Center we are invested with your health care needs.

Physical activity must be continued to tolerance and not stopped. This will only make the symptoms and condition worsen. Stretching is important to a good treatment program to help prevent joint stiffness. A good strengthening program will help build or maintain strength and endurance in the muscles around the effected joints. Work with one of our members at the Injury Care Center to design a program that meets your needs. 

Physical Therapy will play a role with treating Osteoporosis. There will be times that certain activities will be limited with OA. For example, walking, dressing, climbing stairs, and doing house hold chores. Physical therapy will help improve the ability to perform the activities mentioned by putting together a program that may include the following:

  • Teaching the proper principles of using the joint most effectively.
  • Improving joint movement and strength as much as possible
  • Teaching the proper use of heat and ice therapy

Our mission at the Injury Care Center is to help improve lives. For more information please do not hesitate to give us a call. 

Chris Arhontakis BS, PTA

 

www.injurycarecenter.net

If you would like us to evaluate your injury, please call: 877-444-2422.

Or Visit a location near you:

Injury Care Center
901 W. Ashland Avenue
Glenolden, Pa 19036
Phone: 610-461-6522

Injury Care Center
1502 Upland Street
Chester, Pa 19013
484-816-0661

Injury Care Center
3300 Grant Avenue
Suite #20
Philadelphia, PA 19114
215-647-9601