Dealing with joint pain and stiffness caused by arthritis? While medications can certainly help to slow the progression of the disease, there are other less invasive and more therapeutic ways to ease arthritis symptoms and improve your quality of life. If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, or if you suspect that you might have arthritis, know that an osteopath could be a helpful practitioner to turn to for care.
Could I have arthritis?
Most people assume that arthritis is a condition that develops during a person’s later years; however, the CDC reports that most people who have arthritis are actually under 65 years old. From genetics to past injuries, many factors can increase your risk for arthritis. Here are some of the telltale signs:
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Limited mobility
- Swelling and tenderness of the affected joint
- Joints that are warm to the touch
While any joints in the body can be impacted by arthritis, arthritis most commonly develops in the hands and wrists, ankles and feet, and knees. Since arthritis is progressive and can eventually lead to severe and irreversible joint damage, it’s important that you see a medical professional if you’re experiencing symptoms of arthritis.
How can an osteopath help me?
An osteopath is a medical professional that specializes in providing patients with whole-body treatment options. After all, when one system or organ in the body doesn’t work properly, everything else in the body is thrown out of whack. The job of an osteopath is to provide therapeutic, non-invasive, and drug-free ways to manage symptoms and help to improve the mobility and functionality of your joints (and body, as a whole). One of the best ways to do this is through osteopathic manipulation techniques.
What is involved in osteopathic manipulation treatment?
An osteopath will gently stretch and move your body into certain positions to increase blood flow and encourage the joints to move. By improving structural imbalances in the body we can also improve how the affected joints function. Regular manual therapy, along with lifestyle changes such as losing excess weight and performing certain posture and stretching exercises, can help ease your arthritis symptoms. While osteopathic medication will not prevent someone from requiring medication to slow the progression of the disease, it can be an effective way to manage symptoms and improve a patient’s quality of life while living with arthritis.
If you are interested in getting osteopathic treatment to manage your arthritis, the next step is to schedule a consultation with your osteopath to discuss treatment options that can help to improve not just your symptoms but also your quality of life.