Physiotherapy on Macquarie

02 9252 5770
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Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy
Home « Common Injuries « General Health « GENERAL HEALTH «  Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis

The problem

  • Is also known as OA or degenerative arthritis and is a group of diseases involving degradation of joints, articular cartilage and bone
  • Cartilage is a tissue which lubricates and cushions joints
  • OA can have a number of predisposing factors, including: hereditary, mechanical, metabolic and developmental
  • OA often results in pain which decreases movement and function, leading to wasting of muscles and weakening of structures.

Interesting facts

  • OA affects around 3 million people in Australia, representing about 15% of the population
  • OA commonly affects hands, feet, the spine and the large weight bearing joints such as hips and knees.
  • Muscle weakness around an osteoarthritic joint is a common finding
  • Diabetes, obesity, injury and inflammatory diseases such as gout can promote the development of OA in joints
  • OA is the leading cause of pain and disability in the elderly
  • 90% of total hip replacements and 95% of total knee replacements are performed for OA in Australia 

What you can expect/look out for

  • Acute pain
  • Decrease in function of affected joints
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Crepitus or creaking of joints

Hints for self-management

  • Activity modification to reduce irritation of affected joints
  • A graduated exercise program to increase strength of the surrounding muscles
  • Weight management with diet and exercise
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

Management options

  • Research has shown that exercise is one of the most important treatments for OA of the hip and knee.
  • Low impact exercises (where there is less impact going through your hips and knees) include water exercise, cycling, walking and strengthening exercises
  • Strengthening exercises can be prescribed by a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist
  • Braces/supportive devices for affected areas eg knee brace
  • Arthroscopy and in the most severe cases joint replacement surgery

More information

  • Among the 100 different types of arthritis, OA is the most common
  • OA is more common as we age
  • Most cases of OA have no known cause and are referred to as primary OA. When the cause is known, the condition is referred to as secondary OA
  • Repetitive use of worn joints over time can lead to loss of cartilage
  • Inflammation of cartilage can stimulate new bone growth (spurs and osteophytes) which form around the joint (see below)

http://www.innvista.com/health/ailments/arthritis/osteoart.htm

 

 

 At Sydney Sports and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy our highly qualified physiotherapists specialise in the assessment, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal injuries.









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This handout was prepared by Sydney Sports and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy and is intended as a general information service. Please note that the information provided is not intended as a substitute for advice from a registered physician or healthcare professional. If symptoms persist, please consult your doctor.

 

 

Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy
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Level 1
139 Macquarie Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9252 5770
Fax: +61 2 9252 5771
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Email: reception@ssop.com.au
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