Osteoarthritis is a common condition that we see at Physiotherapy Centre Bendigo and is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal conditions affecting Australian’s. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that involves the wearing down of cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones as well as inflammation of the joint tissue. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint but is most common in the knees, hips, fingers and spine.
Everyone’s experience with osteoarthritis is different; however, it tends to come on slowly, over months or even years. The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and stiffness of the joint. Stiffness often occurs first thing in the morning or after resting and pain usually occurs during activity, after activity or at the end of the day.
Osteoarthritis can be diagnosed from your symptoms and a comprehensive physical examination with your physiotherapist. X-rays can help us to see the changes in the shape of your joints; however, x-rays do not always reflect how osteoarthritis impacts your life. For some people an x-ray can show osteoarthritis when the person experiences very little pain or dysfunction. On the other hand, you may have pain and stiffness despite x-rays being normal. Currently, there is no cure for osteoarthritis; however, there are many different treatment approaches available to best manage your symptoms.
Research has found that regular exercise is one of the most effective treatments for osteoarthritis at any stage. Exercise can delay or eliminate the need for joint replacement surgeries. At Physiotherapy Centre Bendigo, our physiotherapists will work with you to create a safe exercise program that will aim to increase your movement, strength and balance, whilst helping to reduce your pain. There is no one size fits all when it comes to developing an exercise program for osteoarthritis. There are many exercises that can be great in helping to reduce your symptoms such as walking, strength training, hydrotherapy, clinical pilates and cycling. Your physiotherapist will help find the approach that works best for you.
If you are experiencing joint pain, stiffness or having difficulty with everyday tasks and hobbies, an appointment with one of our physiotherapists may help. Your physiotherapist will do a comprehensive assessment and develop a treatment plan to best suit you and help you to achieve your goals.