What is Arthritis?
According to the NHS on the 3rd March 2023, around 10 million people in the UK have arthritis. It affects people of all ages, including children.
Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.
Arthritis is an inflammatory joint disorder, which affects the tissues around the joints, and other connective tissues, causing joint pain and stiffness and difficulty in movement. There are more than 100 types of arthritis exists, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
There is a "You Tube" clip on arthritis here.
The two most common types of arthritis.
Types of arthritis
There are many types of arthritis but the two common ones are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the smooth cartilage joint surface wears out. Osteoarthritis usually begins in an isolated joint such as a knee.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system malfunctions and attacks the body instead of intruders and is more commonly found in fingers.
How do I know if I have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis?
RA is symmetrical, where a patient feels symptoms in the same spot on both sides of the body, often in the joints in the feet and hands. Osteoarthritis, in contrast, begins in an isolated joint, often in the knee, fingers, hands, spine and hips. While both sides may hurt, one side is more painful.
To find out more about the less common types of arthritis, it is worth taking at look at The Centers for disease control and prevention website.
The different symptoms between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Signs of Osteoarthritis
- Pain. Affected joints might hurt during or after movement.
- Stiffness. Joint stiffness might be most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.
- Tenderness. Your joint might feel tender when you apply light pressure to or near it.
- Loss of flexibility. ...
- Grating sensation. ...
- Bone spurs. ...
Signs of RA
- Pain or aching in more than one joint.
- Stiffness in more than one joint.
- Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint.
- The same symptoms on both sides of the body (such as in both hands or both knees)
- Weight loss.
- Fatigue or tiredness.
How to help yourself.
How to help yourself if you have arthritis.
Balanced diet: Include anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, legumes, ginger, and fibre in your diet,
Nutrient intake: Vitamin D and calcium are important for our joint’s health, make sure of sufficient intakes.
Weight check: Always check your BMI, excess body weight stresses your joints.
Regular physical activity: Low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, and cycling reduces joint stress. You can also go for yoga and meditation to promote muscle relaxation.
Quit smoking: Smoking is not only harmful for your lungs but also for your joints and musculoskeletal health.
Water: Arthritis is an inflammation within the body and by drinking water and moving regularly you reduce the inflammation
Therapy: Lymphatic Drainage, Bowen Therapy, gentle massages, acupuncture have all been shown to reduce arthritic pain.
How does Bowen Therapy help arthritis?
Bowen Therapy promotes healing and reduces inflammation in joints by activating the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps in drainage of toxic material and thus Bowen Therapy can help with the reduction of inflammation and swelling.
When we are in pain, we often compensate for example if you have arthritis in your right knee, we will tend to walk more heavily on the left side. This can cause complications on the other side of the body as it is being used in an awkward position. With Bowen therapy I address any alignment issues that arthritis is causing.
How would a Lymphatic Drainage Treatment help arthritis?
Arthritis is an inflammation in the lymphatic system. Stimulating the lymphatic vasculature by using Lymphatic drainage alleviates inflammation, reduces edema , epidermal thickening and inflammatory infiltration. Lymphatic drainage therefore reduces the number of inflammatory cells which reduces pain. If the lymphatic system is not functioning correctly inflammation and pain will increase.
If you are unsure which therapy to choose, please do contact me, I am more than happy to discuss the options and it is possible to offer a combination of the two therapies, should it be of benefit.