Osteoarthritis is a degenerative arthritis where the cartilage which covers the ends of the bones becomes damaged. This leads to bony overgrowths at the joint called osteophytes. These bony overgrowths, together with the damaged and thinning cartilage, cause the joint to become deformed and painful. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is caused by “wear and tear” on joints as a result of strains put on an area through poor posture, manual work and previous injuries.
Rheumatoid or Inflammatory Arthritis is an auto-immune disease. That is, the immune system which normally fight infection starts to attack the cells that line the joints. This thin synovial membrane then becomes inflamed causing stiff and swollen joints, pain and lack of mobility.
Osteopathic treatment can do much to ease the pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis by reducing swelling, improving stiffness and restoring some joint mobility. As a result of this there is often less reliance on medication and consequently less problems with the inevitable side effects of the drugs, such as gastritis.Sometimes it is not the arthritic joint that causes the pain but rather muscle spasm as the body tries to naturally protect the joint. Osteopathic treatment can reduce this excessive muscle tension, ease the pain and improve movement.