There are lots of different forms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) are the more common forms we see here at Waverley Myotherapy Clinic but there are plenty more types including inflammatory arthritis and juvenile arthritis just to name a few. Arthritis does not always occur with pain but often it does and this is where us Myotherapists enter into the equation.
Osteoarthritis is often referred to as ‘wear and tear’ because is it the most common form of joint degeneration. It occurs when the cartilage or cushioning between joints wears down leading to pain, stiffness and swelling. Research shows that exercise is one of the best things for OA but it’s good to get some advice first on what types of exercise would be right for you. Some types of exercise often helpful with OA are swimming or water aerobics, studio Pilates, functional exercise using weights, bands and machines usually done with a trained professional such as a Exercise Phsyiologist or a Clinical Pilates instructor, but ultimately any exercise you enjoy that doesn’t aggravate you pain either during or after will have benefits. Myotherapy with a degree qualified practitioner can help loosen tight muscles that might be restricting the joint beyond the actual ‘wear and tear’ and can recommend and help come up with a plan on how to integrate exercise back into your regime.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a auto-immune condition where your body attacks certain joints in the body. Often it affects fingers and toes but ultimately can affect many joints in the body. Myotherapy can help to ascertain if you pain is coming from the arthritis by testing the joint range of motion compared to any muscle restriction. Sometimes the muscles tighten up to protect the joints which can be helped with treatment using pressure pointing, dry needling and massage and followed up with exercises either general or specific. If we find the problem is more in the joint then we will refer you back to your specialist to make sure your medication is still working for you. Often a consult with a nutritionist or functional medicine practitioner is also helpful for people with RA.
Psoriatic Arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis. It not only affects the joints but can also affect the skin, nails and eyes. They are uncertain of the underlying cause with PsA but know that it is a auto-immune type of arthritis, there is possibly a genetic predisposition and that often a stressful event or injury can trigger the disease. Once the majority of pain is being managed with medication, similar to RA this group can benefit from regular muscle work (Myotherapy), exercise and dietary changes prescribed by health professionals pertaining to each area.
The takeaway of all this, is that if you or someone you know is suffering from arthritis pain try some Myotherapy or exercise or both, you may be surprised by how different you feel even though the underlying arthritis is still there. Remember from past discussions, all pain is generated in the brain, so if we can tap into that and calm that system down, much of the pain associated with arthritis can be reduced or eliminated.
If you have any questions please feel free to post here so that everyone else can have the benefit of seeing the information as well. If it is more personal please email us.
For more general information about arthritis check out Arthritis Australia.