Joint pain can be quite common in Canadians - especially when associated with age. Joint pain may also fall under the umbrella of "arthritis," however things aren't often that simple. Here, our Stittsville physical therapists explain the kinds of joint pain treatments that we can offer to clients at our clinic.
Joint pain can be a quite common feeling that may affect Canadians of any age. And while joint pain - especially in the wrists, knees, knuckles and hips - are generally associated with conditions under the arthritis umbrella. However, not all joint pain is a sign of developing arthritis.
Joint pain can be caused by overactivity with exercises like running, living a sedentary lifestyle such as working in an office all day, or other unrelated health issues. With all of that being said though, arthritis is estimated to affect 1 in 4 people in North America at some point in their lifetime - especially as they grow into their senior years.
Arthritis is a collection of inflammatory conditions affecting the joints in a person's body and causing pain, loss of mobility and stiffness - although they all have different root causes.
There are two particularly common forms of arthritis found in our patients: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis and is often what people mean when they refer generally to "arthritis."
This arthritis is caused by "wear and tear" on the joints over time as the cartilage which cushions the movements of bone against bone in your joints to ease movement slowly wears away. The result is the feeling of "bone on bone" movement, swelling and bone spurs in affected joints.
Osteoarthritis is most common in "load-bearing joints" such as knees and hips since they receive the most consistent use and impact over the course of your life.
Because the cause of osteoarthritis is a physical change in your joints, it can be relatively easy to diagnose and detect
This kind of arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is widespread and may affect any joint in the body - causing stiffness, loss of mobility, heat and pain in the joints.
While rheumatoid arthritis does have physical effects on your mobility, your joints and your overall quality of life, it may be a bit trickier to identify since it is an autoimmune disease. The reason for this is that there isn't as concrete a cause for the inflammation you are experiencing - such as with other arthritis varieties such as osteoarthritis.
Physiotherapy Treatments for Joint Pain
The precise treatment for your joint pain will depend on the precise cause of your joint pain.
General Joint Pain
If you are experiencing more common forms of joint pain that are often benign, the treatments will be more preventive. The causes of joint pain are often injury, overuse of a joint or lifestyle impacts on your general health.
Our Stittsville physiotherapists will work with you to manage any pain in your joints that may be related to excessive exercise, non-ergonomic office work and more.
On top of treating any joint pain that you are experiencing, our physiotherapists will also work with you in order to prescribe preventive treatments to help stop your pain from arising again in the future. These treatments may include passive physical therapy treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy and hot or cold therapies, or prescribed active physiotherapies to help restore your strength and support to your affected joints.
When we provide physiotherapy for osteoarthritis, the specific treatments we will design for you will be based on the stage of your condition's development. Our team of physiotherapists will work to determine the extent of your symptoms in your joints as well as observe and record particular motions and movements that may be causing you some trouble.
Once we have assessed the severity of your condition, we will create an individualized treatment plan for your condition, including treating pain, restoring mobility and supporting your movement. Some of these treatments may include lifestyle changes, massage therapy, modification of your movements and exercise routines, and at-home exercise programs.
If osteoarthritis becomes more severe and progresses throughout your life, it may also require treatment with joint replacement surgery. And while, when this condition has advanced to the point where joint replacement surgery is required, physiotherapy will have limited applications - after and before your procedure our Stittsville team can work with you to support your body's recovery from this invasive operation.
The treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are quite similar for those designed for osteoarthritis but will be tailored to your specific case.
Since the root cause of your joint inflammation in this case is an autoimmune issue, lifestyle changes such as nutritional changes can be critical in tandem with other active and passive physiotherapy treatments.