According to the Canadian Arthritis Society, 1 in 10 Canadians are affected by osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis which involves a mechanical “wear and tear” of the cartilage that lines the inside of our joints and which, over time, can result in damage to the connective tissue and bone around the joint.
The pain of arthritis is usually described as a deep ache or throbbing joint pain that is often worse upon getting up in the morning. In addition, sufferers may also experience muscle weakness around the arthritic joint and functional limitations, such as difficulty getting up and walking. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, early diagnosis and treatment can be very effective in eliminating pain, restoring function and slowing down the progression of the disease.
As with most treatable diseases and/or disorders there are various treatments that are proven to be effective. Hence, integrating more than one type of treatment is often more effective in treating osteoarthritis than trying a stand alone treatment. As a multidisciplinary health centre, Active Health Institute, assess each individual patient and makes recommendations according to each individual patients needs. Treatment for osteoarthritis at the Active Health Institute may include;
- Physiotherapy and/or Chiropractic – Focuses on restoring proper joint motion, stretching tight musculature, strengthening weak muscle needed to support the joints and educating patients on the disease and ways to prevent further progression.
- Personal Training – An individually customized exercise program coordinated through a physical therapist can help to reduce pain and functional limitations caused by osteoarthritis by maximizing strength, balance, and joint stability.
- Naturopathic Medicine – Evaluating diet is critical when treating any type of arthritis. Eliminating inflammatory foods, like tomatoes, bell peppers, refined sugars and processed meats are a great first step. Also, many supplements can help to reduce inflammation (Omega 3’s) and/or promote bone and joint health (calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, glucosamine).
- Acupuncture – Over the past several years, research has shown the positive effects acupuncture can have on reducing pain and inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis.
- Massage Therapy – Can help to reduce muscle tension, relieve pain and increase blood flow.
Regardless of the type of treatment you receive, it is imperative that you health care provider continue to re-evaluate your progression and ensure you are achieving positive results.