5740 Cambie St
Vancouver BC V5Z 3A6
One of the most common complaints we treat with physiotherapy at Oakridge Physiotherapy on a day-to-day basis is osteoarthritis. It is a condition that affects the joints of the body – usually on one side – causing pain, stiffness and deformity. As a result, the person’s movements, activities of daily living and quality of life are severely limited. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but with the skilled intervention of physiotherapy, one can live a fairly independent life.
Your first visit to the clinic will involve a thorough assessment of your physical strength, range of motion, transfer capability, gait and ambulation. If the condition is affecting the hands or upper part of the body only, you may be placed in the care of an occupational therapist who will conduct a similar evaluation with greater emphasis on the upper extremities. Following the evaluation, a treatment plan will be drawn up that is suited to your needs and abilities.
Treatment for osteoarthritis will center around pain management, improving range of motion and slowing the progression of the disease. We may use various modalities such as ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), massage and cold therapy. Where deformity has begun in the hands, splinting may be necessary to control it and improve function. We can also recommend and train you in the use of assistive devices to improve activities of daily living.
Passive and active range of motion to reduce stiffness and increase mobility of the joint forms the main part of a therapy session. Yoga poses and tai chi are excellent forms of stretching that reduce pain and stiffness and improve mobility without putting too much stress on the joints. Aqua therapy is being used with arthritis sufferers in some clinics, as the water reduces pain and helps to support aching joints, make exercising easier. For the person with gait disturbances, an assistive device such as a walker, cane or walking stick may be issued to help with mobility.
Many people who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis resign themselves to a life of pain and substandard living. However, physiotherapy offers a range of options for dealing with the crippling effects of this condition. You do not have to suffer needlessly; come in and see us at Oakridge Physiotherapy. We can help.
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