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Let's talk about this elephant in the room. Although many know about this condition there is still confusion about

❓what is it

❓what are the causes

❓how to manage it

👉🏼Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition causing bone and joint stiffness usually seen with individuals of age 45 and above however can be seen in younger population too.

👉🏼Presents with

🦴Joint stiffness <30 minutes

🦴Inflammation- redness , swelling

🦴 Restricted movement of the joints

🦴 Occasionally related to wet and damp weather

🦴 Pain related to activities

🦴Better with rest, heat , ice and medications

👉🏼Caused by

😟 Overactivity

😟 Injuries

😟 Sports

😟 Inactivity

😟 Obesity

😟Co Morbidities such as heart disease, diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis etc

😟 No specific reason at all

🩻 Diagnosis

🩻 X-ray is usually not required because of OA changes i.e.- inflammation , reduced joint space etc. being quite common and do not change the outcomes unless the pain and stiffness is severe enough to be referred for a surgery

🩻 Mostly activity related pain and stiffness- is enough to address this presentation and initiate the rehabilitation protocols

🩻 Changes seen on x-rays

1 Osteophytes - extra bony growth

2 Sclerosis - changes in bone/joint

3 Inflammation - Synovitis etc seen in joint

lining , articular cartilage

4 Nodules seen on hands - part of natural OA process


✅ Mild - minimal loss of joint space, mild pains with weight bearing activities , improves with exercise and activity modification

✅ Moderate - moderate loss of joint space , moderate pains with daily activities , needs specific rehabilitation plans, management strategies and activity modification

✅ Severe- Severe loss of joint space , severe pains and difficulty carrying out activities of daily living , bone and joint shape alterations

🏥 Treatment

🚶‍♀️Exercise - Movement within pain limits to improve strength and stability of joints and muscles

👟 Activity modification - modify activities to ease the pain for eg - Change from walking on a treadmill to static bike in the gym

👨‍🦯 Walking aids, supports, splints can help when paired with exercises, however it is better to discuss this with an expert

💊 Medication - In acute flare up , ibuprofen with meals or naproxen with omeprazole ( available on prescription if allowed ) can reduce the pain and inflammation

💉Injections - Some people might benefit from steroid injections into their joints such as Knee joint or hip joints to alleviate their symptoms

🏥 If all of the above management strategies do not help then surgery is suggested for improving quality of life

🩺 Discuss with a health care professionals ( GP, FCP , Physiotherapist ) about mental health, social factors and help with weight management, they can signpost to the right services

Overall do not panic day to day activities can improve with right advice and pacing strategies

There are lot of suggestions to discuss about diet , lifestyle etc which can be found here 👇🏻

If in doubt contact us for help and advice , we will guide you on the right path for better quality of life

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