Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. There are various forms including, amongst others, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis and gout but osteoarthritis is the most common type. What is essential to note, is that other conditions mimic arthritis and assuming you have it because you're past a certain age or because the x-ray said that's a possibility, is an assumption that has countless people suffering persistently without real reason.
True arthritis means that the joint surface is affected to the extent that normal, pain-free movement isn't possible - either because of damaged cartilage, bony growths, loose pieces in the joint space or an infection. These all sound horrific but luckily they are assumed and diagonsed as the cause of patients' pain far more often than what is appropriate. We need to rule out the conditions mimicking arthritis and stop taking imaging of chronic conditions as reflective of valuable insight as these often tend to lead us the incorrect path.
The typical symptoms which we like to associate with osteoarthritis which can also present in other, more easily manageable conditions, include
- morning pain,
- pain when bearing weight,
- grinding or clicking in the joint
- pain getting better or worse with activity and
stiffness that settles in after keeping still for a while.
The inflammatory or infectious types of arthritis can be incorrectly diagnosed when
- the joint gets worse the more active you are,
- causes constant pain,
- throbs and
- swells up
These symptoms are so classicly representative of 'arthritic conditions' that as health profesisonals our eyes may glaze over and have us blindly diagnose arthritis when the cause and the appropriate treatment is something totally different! No matter how old you are, unless the mechanics and neural components have both bee ruled out as potential causes of your symptoms, a diagnosis of arthritis is utterly unfair and likely inappropriate. As health professionals we can do better, we have so much research and improved guidelines at out disposal that working with antequated approaches and assumptions should be a thing of the past; If not today, hopefully tomorrow.
Your health and wellbeing deserves quality care. Make sure to discuss any concerns you may have directly with your preferred physiotherapist, so that you can receive the appropriate guidance for your unique situation.
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082 334 9028
Valley Centre Offices
396 Jan Smuts Avenue
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