In the UK, 10 million people live with the pain of arthritis every day. This condition affects all ages, including children. And as the weather cools, for some the pain of symptoms increases.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
There are lots of different types of arthritis so symptoms can vary. But more common signs of this painful condition include:
- joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
- inflammation in and around the joints
- restricted movement of the joints
- warm red skin over the affected joint
- weakness and muscle wasting
What can be done to help manage the symptoms of arthritis?
If you are suffering from these sorts of symptoms, then the most important thing is to get a medical diagnosis. Then you know what you’re dealing with. It is likely that, at some point, you may be prescribed medication to reduce pain or swelling or control the progression of the condition. In some cases, joint replacement surgery may become an option.
If you have arthritis, it is particularly important to eat a well-balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals. Some people find that making changes to their diet improves their arthritis symptoms. This may involve avoiding foods that are high in purines. Also inflammatory foods, such as saturated fat and sugar.
Once of the most researched anti-inflammatory diets is the Mediterranean diet. This focusses on:
- olive oil
- whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
- lean meats, eggs, and fish
- nuts and seeds
- The diet also includes moderate levels of dairy products but limits sugar, alcohol, and red meat.
The Arthritis Foundation notes that a Mediterranean diet can reduce inflammation and pain in people with osteoarthritis and protect against fracture risk.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for us all. Being overweight places additional pressure on the hips, knees, ankles and feet. This can lead to increased pain and mobility problems for arthritis sufferers. A study found that a one lb weight-loss lessens four lbs of pressure on the knees, per step.
If your arthritis is painful, you may not feel like exercising. It’s always important to listen to your body. But being generally active can help reduce and prevent pain. It can also:
- improve your range of movement and joint mobility
- increase muscle strength
- reduce stiffness
- boost your energy
Strengthening and aerobic fitness training are the main types of exercise recommended for people with arthritis. The key is to build up your strength and stamina slowly and steadily to avoid injury.
We are all familiar with the many benefits of getting a good night’s sleep. But sleep can also help us to manage pain better – vital for arthritis sufferers. Not getting enough good quality sleep can lower our pain threshold. And this could lead to:
- increased pain from an already painful condition
- pain from a condition that hadn’t been painful before
- pain that was felt only in a particular part of the body becoming more widespread.
How might Osteopathy be helpful to arthritis sufferers?
Robin Kiashek is a qualified Osteopath and Naturopath with clinics in Soho and North London. He has over 25 years’ experience. And he is registered with both The General Osteopathic Council and The British Naturopathic Association. There are several ways Osteopathy may be able to help people living with arthritis:
Robin can advise on the type of physical exercise that would be most suitable to help you achieve your fitness goals. Which can help contribute to weight management, with its associated benefits.
Pre and post-surgery
We mentioned previously that in some cases, joint replacement may be an option. Osteopath, Robin Kiashek can work with you to help improve the strength of the supportive muscles around the joint and your general fitness before surgery. He may also be able to support you in your post-surgery rehabilitation.
Some people with arthritis find that the manual therapy performed by Osteopaths can help with their symptoms. Gentle massage, stretching and articulation of the joints has been shown to help to reduce pain and stiffness. This has a knock-on effect on the ease with which you can perform daily tasks and activities. Robin may also give you exercises to do at home as well as general lifestyle advice.
This is what one person living with arthritis had to say about being treated by Robin Kiashek:
“I make my living as a pianist, so it was a real disaster to be afflicted by severe osteoarthritis in thumb and fingers for a number of years.
“I have received various practitioners’ many attempts at treating my symptoms through physio and injections, wax baths and splints. However, when Robin introduced sessions of cold laser treatment to my sore joints, I was shocked and delighted at the almost instant reduction of swelling and pain. I receive regular treatments and now take on a full amount of playing work. I’m delighted and thankful to have discovered this treatment!”
If you feel that you may benefit from Osteopathic treatment, you can call on 020 8815 0979. Or click here to request an appointment with Robin Kiashek.