Arthritis - How to Manage
By Dr. Doug
Arthritis is a condition that affects nearly 6 million Canadians. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men live with arthritis, and there is no cure. While arthritis is generally considered a disease of old age, nearly one half of people living with arthritis are under the age of 65. Most commonly, arthritis affects the hips, knees and spine, although other joints can be affected, and one arthritic joint can lead to pain in other parts of the body, too.
So, if arthritis can’t be cured, what can be done?
First, it is important to understand how arthritis is impacting the person’s life. An examination of the affected joint and it's supporting muscles is needed and consideration must be made of other joints near the affected area. In addition to pain in the joint, there will be tight, sore muscles which create pressure as they are trying to support the joint. The patient will try to avoid pain with functional compensations and muscle weakness will result. Second, the level of inflammation needs to be determined. Inflammation influences the amount of pain being felt and how the arthritis will be treated.
To treat inflamed joints, Laser Therapy is often the place to start. Laser Therapy helps to bring down inflammation, resulting in a reduction of pain. Next, when inflammation is no longer the main concern, soft tissue therapy, stretching and perhaps mobilization is the next step. These help to improve the mobility of the joint. Last, we want to stabilize the joint to prevent future aggravation of a susceptible joint, so some targeted strengthening exercises are warranted. Even when arthritis has progressed to a condition called “stenosis” there are treatments to manage the stiffness and pain.
Arthritis is something we will all have to deal with, but not something we “have to live with.”
Are you or a family member dealing with Arthritis? Book a Free 15 Minute Consultation with Dr. Doug and he will let you know if he can help.
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