Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common and chronic joint disorder that worsens with age. It is associated with damage to the joint cartilage and surrounding tissues. Symptoms include pain, joint swelling, boney overgrowth, stiffness and loss of function. Diagnosis is based on symptoms and x-rays. The most commonly affected joints are the lower back, hips, knees and feet. When those joints are affected, activities of daily living, walking, climbing stairs and lifting objects can be affected.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis includes medical and physical therapy measures to reduce pain, joint stiffness and improve function. And, in severe cases, joint replacement surgery is neccessary. The most common joints for replacement surgery are the shoulders, hips and knees. Patients are often seen in physcial therapy for pain management, restoration of range of motion, strengthening, gait training and functional training.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Upon your Initial Evaluation, your physical therapist will do a thourough examination of your joint range of motion, pain level, strength, gait, posture and functional patterns. And, a treatment plan will be established to address your deficits. If joint replacement surgery is indicated, it is recommended that you seek physical therapy treatment before and after surgery to optimize results and recovery.
For more information about Osteoarthritis, please refer to the Arthritis Foundation or Merk Manual:
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Cool Fact about Osteoarthritis
I had osteoarthritis, and Paul made it go away.Marybeth