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Osteoarthritis Treatment in Victoria BC

Posted in on Mar 5, 2015.

Osteoarthritis victoria bc BracingWhat is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis, commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, is a condition in which the natural cushioning between joints and cartilage wears away. When this happens, the bones of the joints rub more closely against one another with less of the shock-absorbing benefits of cartilage. The rubbing results in pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased ability to move and, sometimes, the formation of bone spurs.

Knee osteoarthritis a common and growing problem. Surgery including knee replacement is an option, but whilst generally safe and successful is certainly not a first line of treatment. Before considering surgery there are a few ideas that may help reduce the pain and impact of knee osteoarthritis.

1. Weight Management

A heavier person will place more load on their joints. There is a clear link between osteoarthritis and obesity. The Obesity journal states that “Even in people without arthritic change, those who were overweight (Body mass index of 25 – 30) reported 20% higher levels of pain. For those who were obese (BMI of more than 30) the reported pain levels were 68% higher, for those with a BMI of 35 – 40 it increases to 136% higher levels of pain and those with a BMI above 40 had a shocking 254% higher level of pain.” Even moderate weight loss will make a big difference.

2. Customized Exercise Program

As well as helping with weight management, physical activity strengthens, lubricates and stabilises the joint. Your Shelbourne Physiotherapist can give you specific exercise that will work to strengthen the muscles around the joint providing stability.

3. Knee Brace

A range of knee braces are available to help relieve pain and provide stability. The type of knee brace required depends on a number of factors including the part of the knee which is affected by arthritis.Shelbourne Physiotherapist Mark Gottfried is a Certified Knee Brace Fitter for BREG and BLEDSOE Braces

4. Electrical Stimulation

A neuromuscular stimulator can be used to help to strengthen muscle, whist a TENS machine provides drug free pain relief. TENS is an abbreviation of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Transcutaneous means “across the skin”. In simple terms, a tens machine stimulates your nerves via an electrical current through your skin.

5. Knee Injections for Osteoarthritis

There are two types of knee injections used for osteoarthritis. A corticosteroid injection can give short term pain relief and is useful at times of flare up. Viscosupplementation injections are proven to give longer term pain relief, up to one year, in knees with mild to moderate osteoarthritis. See your General practitioner to discuss this option.

Your Victoria Shelbourne Physiotherapist can help you develop a plan specific to treat your osteoarthritic condition.

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