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Osteoarthritis is a condition commonly referred to as “wear and tear”. However, this is a confusing name as it suggests that exercise may be bad because it will wear even more. This is not the case!

Bones that form a joint are covered with a layer of cartilage. Together with joint fluid (synovia), the cartilage ensures that the bones can move smoothly as a joint. In osteoarthritis, the quality and thickness of the cartilage deteriorate. As a result, the layer of cartilage becomes thinner and unevenness occurs. Eventually, the layer of cartilage can even disappear. The result of this is that a joint can no longer function properly.

In addition to the deterioration of the cartilage, even more changes in the joint. Bone growths (osteophytes) can develop at the joint edges. This makes the joint wider, which will limit movement even more.

It is now known that the degree of osteoarthritis says nothing about the complaints that someone can experience. Sometimes the osteoarthritis is minimal but the complaints are already very advanced, the other way around can also be the case.

Symptoms consistent with osteoarthritis

  • pain
  • morning stiffness
  • starting stiffness
  • mobility limitation (reduced mobility)
  • crepitations (cracking sounds)
  • difficult to pinpoint the exact pain location
  • complaints can be present continuously but also alternately and varying in intensity
  • swelling
  • widening of the joint
  • loss of strength

Osteoarthritis can occur in all joints. Common areas of the body include the hips, knees, hands, and spine. Osteoarthritis is often in several places and can also be generalized throughout the body.

Causes of osteoarthritis

Despite much research, the cause of osteoarthritis is unknown. However, it is established that there are various factors that influence the development of osteoarthritis, such as heredity, gender, obesity, injuries, excessive sports or a congenital defect of a joint.

How can you treat osteoarthritis?

At Skin Therapist NL Almere, the physiotherapist can conduct an examination to make the diagnosis and to draw up a treatment. Since osteoarthritis is a medical diagnosis, a physiotherapist is not allowed to make this diagnosis. However, a physiotherapist can have a suspicion and therefore give advice to demonstrate this. An X-ray will show a narrowing of the joint space and the possible bone overgrowth may be visible.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive picture meaning it will get worse over time. The physiotherapist of Huidtherapeut NL Almere can help to tackle the problems as a result of osteoarthritis. The main treatment goal is to slow down the deterioration, reduce pain and improve joint function. An important part of the treatments is exercise therapy under the supervision of a physiotherapist to stimulate movement and strengthen the muscles.

In some cases, conservative treatment is no longer sufficient. In that case, a choice can be made to have, for example, a total knee prosthesis or hip prosthesis. In that case, the physiotherapist can help with the rehabilitation process, which involves working on the drainage of fluid (oedema), optimizing the mobility of the joint, strengthening muscle through exercise therapy and other aspects of daily life that someone encounters.

If physiotherapy is not effective enough, the physiotherapist of Almere can guide you in looking for other/additional options.

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