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An estimated 10 million people have arthritis in the UK, with some forms of the condition affecting people of all ages, buy cheap depo-medrol online pharmacy without prescription including children. One of the main symptoms of arthritis is joint pain, along with swelling, stiffness and a decreased range of motion.
While there is no cure for arthritis, symptoms are typically treated with a combination of medicines and surgery.
Lifestyle changes, such as eating certain foods or cutting out others, may also be used to ease aches and pains.
However, there are some additional practises that can also offer a “hands-on” approach to reducing painful flare-ups.
Nadia Arshad, a London-based Osteopath with over 18 years of experience in the field, spoke to Express.co.uk to explain more about what osteopathy is and how it can help arthritis patients.
What is osteopathy?
The NHS describes osteopathy as “a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints”.
According to Nadia, it can “restore balance”, including reducing pain around the body.
She told Express.co.uk: “Osteopathy is a hands-on, manual therapy which helps alleviate musculoskeletal aches and pains. As osteopaths, we believe structure governs function.
“If the structure is twisted or compressed, the blood and nerve supply to every organ and function of the body is affected which may cause a host of ailments.”
By the use of methods including “light manipulations, myofascial release, massage, and neuro-muscular techniques”, Nadia believes the benefits of osteopathy can “bring patients a better quality of life”.
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How can osteopathy help with arthritis symptoms?
Osteopathy can help to “reduce pain and inflammation, as well as increase flexibility”, according to Nadia.
She explained: “Gentle manual therapy can help release muscle tension around the affected joint and improve the range of movement. This can also encourage better joint health by promoting blood and lymph flow to and from the area.”
Osteopathy methods can work to optimise the function of certain areas of the body and ensure that joints are loaded as evenly as possibly.
Nadia added: “Treatment is aimed to improve mobility and reduce swelling by gentle, manual osteopathic techniques on joints, muscles, and ligaments.”
However, it isn’t just physical therapy that can help.
According to the NHS: “If you’re overweight, losing weight can really help you cope with arthritis.
“Too much weight places excess pressure on the joints in your hips, knees, ankles and feet, leading to increased pain and mobility problems.”
Nadia points out that lifestyle and self-management advice is also given at appointments, with a key focus on nutrition, posture and weight management.
The osteopath added: “Having a nutritional analysis is also important to help control and further exacerbate arthritis as certain foods can trigger the pain and swelling.”
What can I expect on my first osteopathy appointment?
Your osteopath will determine which treatment is best depending on the type of arthritis you have.
Nadia explained: “For osteoarthritis, a combination of gentle massage, and mobilisation techniques to move and stretch the arthritic joint aiming to create space [would be best]. Massaging the surrounding tissues helps to ease some of the discomfort.
“Osteopathy treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is very similar to that of osteoarthritis, where the joints are gently stretched and mobilised to help keep as much movement as possible and making sure the surrounding muscles are not getting tight.”
When going for an appointment, particularly for rheumatoid arthritis patients, it is important not to go during a flare-up.
Nadia said: “At the first visit, a full case history will be taken of your ailments, including details of your lifestyle, past medical history, and medication.”
This will be followed by an examination. At this point, Nadia said patients may be asked to remove some of their clothing to help identify problem areas.
Patients will then be required to perform a series of movements.
Nadia said: “The osteopath will then use a highly developed sense of touch called palpation, to identify any points of weakness or excessive strain through the body.
“The osteopath may need additional investigations such as blood tests, x-rays or MRIs to allow a full diagnosis.
“Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment can commence which is likely to happen at the first visit unless needing further investigations.”
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