Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of disability with estimates of up to 80% of those over 75 years old showing radiological signs of OA. Increasing longevity, inactivity and obesity are leading to increased prevalence of OA. By 2020, OA will be the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide.
The key features of OA are thinning of cartilage, bone thickening, swelling, stiffening of the joint and weakening of the muscles.
However, there is strong evidence to support the benefits of participation in regular exercise in the management of osteoarthritis. We know that exercise and regular physical activity decreases pain, increases function, enhances a sense of well-being and ultimately improves an individual’s quality of life.
If you are having difficulty managing the symptoms of your OA it is advised that you arrange an appointment to see a physical therapist. Many patients find physical therapy an essential part of arthritis treatment. With their expertise they can help an individual cope with pain and disability caused by arthritis.
Once the symptoms of OA are better managed, a transition to appropriate, progressive exercise is advised. Physical therapists are trained professionals with experience managing people with osteoarthritis. Wellness staff, in conjunction with physical therapists, create personalized exercise programs based on each individual’s needs and abilities to help you achieve your rehab goals.