What is Osteoarthritis (OA)?

Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints.  OA affects millions of Canadians.  The most commonly affected joints are the knees, hips, low back and neck, and the fingers and toes.  OA occurs when the slippery and cushioning cartilage of the joint breaks down.  Without the cushioning and ease of  movement provided by cartilage, joints become stiff, sore and swollen.

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is associated with the aging process although it does occur in people of all ages.  Risk factors for Osteoarthritis include:

  • Genetics (OA) does seem to run in families
  • Obesity and the resulting increased load on joints
  • Previous joint injuries
  • Overuse of joints

How does Physiotherapy help Osteoarthritis?

Your Physio In Motion physiotherapist can help you address risk factors for arthritis and provide options to relieve the pain you may be experiencing already.  For example, there are a number of excellent products to relieve the pain of OA of the knees.  Unloading knee braces have proven to be very effective for our clients and provide almost immediate relief.  Don’t allow the image of a knee brace discourage you.  Knee braces have gone from bulky and uncomfortable to lightweight carbon and aluminum works of art.  They help by slightly unloading the joint space where damaged cartilage is causing pain.  The immediate improvement in pain is remarkable.  Our clients using OA knee braces consistently report that their quality of life is dramatically improved.