Osteopathy and arthritis

Streatham Village Osteopaths - Treating arthritis

Streatham Village Osteopaths – Treating arthritis

How we can help

We spend a large amount of their time dealing with the pain and suffering caused by arthritis*.  Many people mistakenly assume that arthritis is untreatable and that they must learn to live with their symptoms.

In fact, in many cases, osteopaths are able to help considerably.  Pain relief and lifestyle management improve the quality of life for arthritis sufferers.

There are many popular misconceptions about arthritis – people think that proof of  degenerative change on x-rays means that nothing can be done and that a life on pain killers or anti-inflammatories is the only answer.

In fact, joint wear and tear is normal after the age of 35 and does not necessarily mean you will have the painful symptoms of arthritis.  Before treating you, we may well require x-rays, blood tests or even MRI scans to assess the extent of your condition.

Once we begin, treatment is not usually painful and symptom relief can begin immediately.

The treatment we offer is aimed at improving mobility and reducing inflammation by using gentle, manual osteopathic techniques on joints, muscles and ligaments.  You will be given positive advice related to your lifestyle about how you use your body.

We may also give advice about your diet, which in some people may be a factor in their arthritis.  Exercises to do at home may also be prescribed to improve joint function and to reduce muscle spasm.  Exercise in warm water or salt baths may also be recommended.

Age is no barrier to osteopathic treatment since each patient is considered individually and treatment is gentle.

Osteopathy can often help reduce the likelihood of surgery and/or can help with rehabilitation afterwards.


*What is arthritis?

Broadly, arthritis may be divided into two types – degenerative and inflammatory.  

Degenerative or osteoartritis is the commonest form, sometimes called ‘wear and tear’ and is usually localised to a specific site such as the hips, knees or spine.  Its classic features of pain, stiffness and restricted mobility may often be eased and improved with skilled osteopathic treatment.   

Inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis is generally a systemic disease affecting not just joints but the whole body.  Like osteoarthritis it produces severe pain, stiffness and often deformity.  

Osteopathy may be helpful in addition to medication.