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Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and a leading cause of disability. The areas mostly affect by OA are the hips, knees and hands. OA is defined as the loss of cartilage leading to a degeneration of the adjacent bones associated with the inflammatory process.

Whilst the exact cause of OA is unknown it is though that there are many different triggers that initiate the disease such as:-

  • Lack of activity
  • Previous joint injury
  • Obesity
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Abnormal joint alignment
  • Genetics

The signs and symptoms of Osteoarthritis

  • Joint pain post exercise and relieved at rest
  • Joint stiffness in the morning
  • Reduced function
  • Reduced range of movement
  • Pain on movement
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bony spurs due to osteophytes
  • Crepitus
  • Muscles weakness
  • Joint instability

OA can greatly reduce the quality of life and every measure should be taken to maintain healthy joints and disrupt the pathology of the disease by seeking physiotherapy treatment as the sooner it is diagnosed and treated the greater chances that it can be slowed down.

Treatment for Osteoarthritis may consist of the following modalities:-

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Pilates
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Exercise programs
  • Biomechanical correction
  • Joint mobilisation