OA / Osteoarthritis / Wear and Tear

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INJURY TITLE

OA / Osteoarthritis / Wear and Tear

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

Very common condition that is associated with age and considered to a degenerative process.  It is characterised by pain and loss of joints range.

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

This is commonly seen in the knee, hip, shoulder, ankle, elbow, and fingers and throughout the spine.  It typically affects the larger joints of the body.  There are variations in the type of OA that can affect people but on the whole the condition is a normal process that happens with age.  It should happen very slowly and with that be pain free.  However, previous injuries, biomechanical abnormalities, deconditioning can speed the condition up and it becomes painful.

 

The cartilage in the joints undergoes changes that cause it to loose inherent smoothness.  This can lead to an increase in the friction caused by normal joint movement.  Also some of this cartilage can come off into the joint space and restrict normal movement.  To aid lubrication of movement the lining around the joint is caused to secrete more joint fluid.  This is surplus to requirements however, as there is plenty of fluid already in there.  The increase in fluid could seem like recurrent swelling but it is just down to that process.  Changes in joint mechanics and increased pressure can place more pressure upon the ligaments and other structures pain can be quite intense.

 

Later stages of the condition are associated with significant loss of joint function, deformity, and increased pain.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Loss of joint range
  • Muscle weakness and possible wasting
  • Joint instability

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Clinical assessment based around verbal questioning and formal assessment of the joint.
  • Joint assessment will focus on available range, muscle power, walking ability, proprioception and balance.
  • X-Ray to check for radiological signs of the complaint
  • CT scan and MRI are more expensive and not really necessary unless the outcome of the care (surgical intervention) is anticipated.

 

 

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

  • To build any appreciable weaknesses and to prevent further loss of function.
  • Building exercise tolerance
  • Building muscle power
  • Using manual therapy to combat joint stiffness and muscle soreness
  • Biomechanical intervention and corretion
  • Acupuncture
  • In advanced cases, surgical opinion may be sought but is only a last resort.

 

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     X

Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.

i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.

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