The ageing process is one that affects us all, to varying degrees. As we age, the joints tend to become a little stiffer, the muscles a little weaker and less bulky and we generally feel a little slower. Recovery from injury may take longer and physical strains that we have put our bodies through over the years begin to catch up with us. All of these can lead to increased wear and tear.
The spine, knees and hips, as our main load-bearers, tend to be more susceptible to degeneration, pain and stiffness. Movements of the affected joint becomes stiffer, especially when the joint is loaded, for example when walking, if hip or knee, or leaning backwards or standing still for long periods, if spinal. As the movement becomes more limited, the muscles around the joint waste as they are not being used as much and this then exacerbates the problem further. Although it is indeed correct that when a joint is worn it cannot be reversed, the pain you experience often arises from the surrounding tissues and not from the joint itself.
Our osteopaths work to relieve the strain on the joint, get it working better and build up the strength in the muscles around the joint. We may also look at ways in which working on the rest of the body, correcting posture, lessening weight, increasing exercise and improving diet may also assist you to a more pain free life. You need not put up with pain just because you are getting older and many of our retired clients have been able to resume an active lifestyle following treatment. Of course there are cases when you may need more than osteopathy and we can refer you to see a consultant privately or back to your GP as necessary.
*Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010, 18:3 doi:10.1186/1746-1340-18-3 Article URLhttp://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/18/1/3