Joint pain is an incredibly common condition that can affect Canadians of all ages. And, while joint pain - especially in the knees, wrists, knuckles and hips - are often associated with conditions under the umbrella of arthritis, not all joint pain is a sign of developing arthritis.
Joint pain can be caused by overactivity with exercises like running, living a sedentary lifestyle such as working in an office all day, or other unrelated health issues. With all of that being said though, arthritis is estimated to affect 1 in 4 people in North America at some point in their lifetime - especially as they grow into their senior years.
Arthritis is a collection of conditions affecting the joints in a person's body, causing inflammation in the joints and causing pain or loss of mobility with a number of different root causes.
There are two particularly common forms of arthritis found in our patients: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
This kind of arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is widespread and may affect any joint in the body - causing stiffness, loss of mobility, heat and pain in the joints.
While rheumatoid arthritis has physical affects on your joints, mobility and quality of life, since it is an autoimmune disease, it can be a bit trickier to identify. This is because there aren't as many physical causes for the pain you are feeling.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis and is often what people mean when they refer generally to "arthritis."
This arthritis is caused by "wear and tear" on the joints over time as the cartilage which cushions the movements of bone against bone in your joints to ease movement slowly wears away. The result is the feeling of "bone on bone" movement, swelling and bone spurs in affected joints.
Osteoarthritis is most common in "load-bearing joints" such as knees and hips since they receive the most consistent use and impact over the course of your life.
Because the cause of osteoarthritis is a physical change in your joints, it can be relatively easy to diagnose and detect
Physiotherapy Treatments for Joint Pain
The precise treatment for your joint pain will depend on the precise cause of your joint pain.
General Joint Pain
If you are experiencing more common forms of joint pain that are often benign, the treatments will be more preventive. The causes of joint pain are often injury, overuse of a joint or lifestyle impacts on your general health.
Our Nepean physiotherapists will work with you to manage any pain in your joints that may be related to excessive exercise, non-ergonomic office work and more.
In addition to managing any joint pain you are experiencing, our physical therapists will also work to prescribe preventive treatments to help stop this joint pain from arising again in the future. These treatments may include passive physiotherapies such as hot and cold packs, acupuncture or massage and may also include prescribed activities and stretches to help restore strength and support to the affected joints.
Physiotherapy for osteoarthritis will depend on an assessment of the development of your conditions. Our physical therapists will examine your movement to determine the extent of the symptoms in your joints as well as observe and record any particular movements and activities that may be causing you trouble.
Once we have assessed the severity of your condition, we will create an individualized treatment plan for your condition, including treating pain, restoring mobility and supporting your movement. Some of these treatments may include lifestyle changes, massage therapy, modification of your movements and exercise routines, and at-home exercise programs.
If osteoarthritis becomes more severe and progresses throughout your life, it may also require treatment with joint replacement surgery. And while, when this condition has advanced to the point where joint replacement surgery is required, physiotherapy will have limited applications - after and before your procedure our Nepean team can work with you to support your body's recovery from this invasive operation.
The treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are quite similar for those designed for osteoarthritis, but will be tailored to your specific case.
Since the root cause of your joint inflammation in this case is an autoimmune issue, lifestyle changes such as nutritional changes can be critical in tandem with other active and passive physiotherapy treatments.
Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in your joints?
We can help develop a treatment and exercise plan to help you recover.
Welcome to the Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre blog, where we provide lots of helpful tips, news, information and advice about physiotherapy and massage treatments, as well as general health and wellness, in Nepean and Ottawa.