Arthritis & Degenerative Joint Disease


What is arthritis and osteoarthritis?

Arthritis is inflammation of a joint. Osteoarthritis(OA) is a more common form of arthritis involving damage and inflammation of bone in joints- primarily weightbearing joints of knee and hip. The shoulder is also a common joint that can be affected by OA. 

Joints are made up of the bones, cartilage protecting the bones, and synovial fluid that cushions the joint. When there is damage to any of these aspects, the bones begin to wear against each other and cause pain. The result is a continuation of deterioration and pain. 

Causes of OA could be age, occupation, sports, past injuries, genetics, and obesity. 

What are signs and symptoms of OA?

  • Stiffness in joint, usually in the morning, that eases after 30 minutes of moving
  • Stiffness that occurs at rest 
  • Pain during activity that stops during rest 
  • Crunching, popping, catching, cracking and other types of noise. 
  • Pain when you touch the  joint 
  • Increase in bony growth at joint

How can a Physical Therapist or Chiropractor Help?

A physical therapist or chiropractor can help by prolonging or eliminating the need for surgery. The therapist will help you with a personalized exercise plan based on your signs and symptoms in order to decrease pain and decrease chances of progression. The therapist or chiropractor can also use hands on technique to help with pain and improve the mobility of th joint. They can recommend other forms of cardiovascular exercise in order to upkeep health without increasing pain and progression of OA. Additionally, if you're overweight the therapist can work with you on safe weight loss through easy lifestyle changes.