Do you suffer from osteoarthritis? You should know that osteopathy can help you…
With osteoarthritis, damage to the cartilage of a joint leads to a breakdown of the bone surfaces in that joint.
The joints most commonly affected are the knees, hips and spine-all joints that support your body’s weight. In addition, osteoarthritis often affects the joints of the hand.
Signs and symptoms
If you have osteoarthritis, you may experience pain, stiffness and swelling in your joints. This condition can also reduce the range of motion in the affected joints. For example, you might have difficulty walking up or down stairs due to stiff knees, or find that your finger joints are swollen.
Only your doctor can diagnose osteoarthritis and suggest treatment. However, manual therapy, like that performed by your osteopath, can help relieve the discomfort associated with osteoarthritis.
How an osteopath can help
Osteopaths who are members of CPOQ have undergone 5 years of training, in accordance with the benchmarks set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Their in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology means they can target the muscle and conjunctive tissues in your body that are affected by discomfort due to osteoarthritis, then work toward relieving them with manual therapy.
What is manual therapy?
Manual therapy is a physical approach practised by osteopaths (osteopathic manual practitioners in Ontario), physiotherapists and some chiropractors to relieve tension caused by musculoskeletal ailments, like osteoarthritis, and by physical disabilities, like limping due to joint stiffness.
It mainly involves applying a comfortable vector of pressure to relax muscles and connective tissues and of mobilizing the joints with various pain-free, manual techniques.
So then… what’s osteopathy?
What sets osteopathy apart from other approaches is its all-encompassing vision of the human body. (Note that in Ontario, osteopathy is referred to as osteopathic manual practice, or OMP.) This modality is based on the practitioner’s deep understanding of human anatomy and physiology, which allows the osteopath (or osteopathic manual practitioner in Ontario) to consider your entire body when sleuthing out the source of your tension and discomfort.
- That discomfort in your thigh, is it because of your gonarthritis (osteoarthritis of the knee), or could it be from the pelvic tensions you’ve had, unbeknownst to you, ever since you fell 6 years ago?
- Are your tense arm muscles due to the osteoarthritis in your shoulder or to your carpal tunnel syndrome, which was diagnosed by your doctor last year?
What about my osteoarthritis?
Osteopathy can help by relaxing the various body tissues around the joint and by making them more mobile. In doing so, an osteopath fosters the right conditions so your body can self-regulate through natural physiological processes (the inflammatory response, blood circulation, cell oxygenation, elimination of cellular waste, etc.).
Although scientific research has shown that the cartilage destruction that causes osteoarthritis (synonym: arthrosis) is the result of mechanical wear and tear as well as an inflammatory process at the molecular level, osteopathy may help increase your feeling of well-being and your day-to-day mobility by relaxing the affected muscles and connective tissue.
In fact, an article published in 2008 in The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association found that a short-term manual therapy protocol for knees dramatically reduced the pain experienced by participants with osteoarthritis knee pain. Additionally, participants reported that manual therapy improved their knee function immediately after the end of their 2-week treatment period.
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We’re located close to home, whether you’re in Brossard, Longueuil or St-Hubert.
 Henry Pollard, BSc, Grad Dip Chiro, Grad Dip AppSc, et al. The effect of a manual therapy knee protocol on osteoarthritic knee pain: a randomised controlled trial. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2008 Dec; 52 (4): 229–242. Accessed online October 15, 2020 : www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2597887