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Osteoarthritis: An inflammatory condition that affects the surfaces in the joint, cartilage.  This a progressive and degenerative pathology that will not 100% resolve, but this does not mean that it cannot be improved.. it CAN!

Research provides evidence that strengthening the affected area can help to relieve joint pain from osteoarthritis (OA).  This is because in most cases there is an imbalance of forces at a joint and this causes the joint to be overused on a smaller than needed surface—the forces are not spread evenly across the joint.   For example, at the knee either the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) surface of the joint gets overused which causes medial or lateral knee pain for individuals. To combat this certain muscles need to be strengthened and others need to be lengthened (stretched).  Once you have the information or tools needed to reduce the pain most individuals can self manage their own condition.

Acupuncture is another great option to supplement the treatment of this condition.  This modality helps to improve blood flow to the area(s).  Blood flow is compromised with OA, which is why acupuncture helps to improve the condition.

Shockwave therapy, manual therapy, and cupping therapy are also great options to supplement the healing of this condition.  I use some/all of these and the aforementioned techniques when treating  OA in clinic.

Matt Welsh

BHSc, MScPT, Registered Physiotherapist