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Osteoarthritis And Physiotherapy
Osteoarthritis is a very common form of arthritis, and unfortunately is also a very big cause of long term impairment and disability. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that is registered under
mechanical degradation of joints and joints tissue.
The classic symptoms of a patient with osteoarthritis will include
- pain within the affected joint
- joint stiffness
- 'locking' of the knee
- tenderness to the touch.
our joint cartilage wears off due to wear and tear (or due to infections and trauma), what happens is that the bone surfaces of the bones that make the joint becomes exposed to physical trauma (because the joint cartilages serve as shock
absorbers - without these shock absorbers, then the shock/load goes directly to the bones).
This leads to damage to pain, and in turn, the patient will limit the
movement of the joint, which in turn causes muscle atrophy and ligamental
laxity. This creates a vicious cycle, and that's why patients with osteoarthritis will benefit a lot from direct active physiotherapy and hand therapy interventions.
Therapy treatments involves a combination of
- activity/lifestyle changes and modifications
- painkillers to lessen
or manage the pain
If the joint pain that the patient experiences becomes overpowering,
patients who have less surgical risk often can choose to undergo joint replacement surgery such
as hip replacement or knee replacement of the joint with osteoarthritis.
Signs And Symptoms of osteoarthritis
Other osteoarthritis symptoms include
(aching, pulling, burning) in joint and surrounding joint structures
- decreased/loss of joint movement
- decreased function
- decreased use due to pain and/or fear of pain
Sometimes patients may notice that there may be cracking noise in their affected joints (termed as crepitus) and this is sometimes paird with muscle spasms. Some patients with osteoarthritis also often report that they can "feel" joint differences in warm versus cold weather e.g. moving from a cold room to a hot room
or vice versa will result in a cramping ache.
Most of the time, osteoarthritis affects first the joints that are:
- more load/weight-bearing
- more used
Such as knees, hips, shoulders and hands. As osteoarthritis is a progressive condition (ie gets worse over time and with use),
the affected joints start to become larger, becoming increasingly more painful and decreasing in
mobility. This distinguishes it from its similar cousin, rheumatoid arthritis, that usually improves with time.
Sometimes, in smaller joints such as the joints of the hands and fingers,
Heberden's nodes can form on the end finger joint, and Bouchard's
nodules can form on the joints just after the knuckles. They are not always painful, but they can decrease/restrict
the movement of the fingers.
Causes Of Osteoarthritis
are two types of osteoarthritis: primary and secondary.
Primary osteoarthritis refers to the the chronic degenerative disorder that is related by is
not primarily caused by aging (some people in their 80+ or 90+ have no
OA at all). Over time, the cartilages in our joints shrink, and becomes
Secondary osteoarthritis is caused by a variety
of factors, but ends up with the same pathological results as of the
Some of the causes of secondary osteoarthritis are:
- Joint disorders
- Diabetes mellitus
- Any/all forms of inflammatory/arthritic diseases
- Direct trauma such as falls, accidents and injuries
- Joint infections
- Ligamental laxity or instability
- Other syndromes such as marfan's syndrom and wilson's disease
recommend a holistic combination of treatment approaches and modalities for a
more effective outcomes. Lifestyle changes and modification such as
adopting a more active lifestyle of healthy eating, exercise and
weight loss), combined with careful use of painkillers are some of the long term
What our senior physiotherapists and hand therapists do for patients with osteoarthritis aims to help to improve
function, increase strength and mobility, decrease pain and delay the
need for invasive surgery.
Physiotherapy and exercise therapy that is prescribed is documented to be more effective than that of a pure
pharmaceutical approach (ie just taking medicine and painkillers wont solve this problem for the long term).
Some of the areas our senior physiotherapists will target include
Hand therapists often prescribe custom-made splints to
prevent aggravation and deformities.
More Information on Osteoarthritis:
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Phoenix Rehab physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist
physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly
trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of
expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
HAND THERAPY & SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.
It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to
- accelerate recovery and
- shorten downtime / recovery period required
It also prevents
muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle
Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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