‘Kinetic Physio’ is a new Chartered Physiotherapy clinic based at the Thrive Health & Wellness Centre, Henry Street, Roscommon Town. Chartered Physiotherapist Sarah O’Doherty treats patients with a wide spectrum of complaints and injuries. One of the most common and troublesome conditions treated is Osteoarthritis. The following piece gives an insight into some of the latest research into this condition...
I frequently see patients in the clinic who are concerned about Osteoarthritis. The phrase ‘Worn out joints’ is something that patients themselves often use to describe the condition, which can cause significant pain and restriction in usual activities.
Osteoarthritis is not solely caused by so-called ‘Wear and Tear’. To more accurately explain the process we should describe it as a slowing down in the rate at which the body is able to repair the joint surfaces as effectively as it once did.
Research has shown that the condition is also inflammatory in nature. Sometimes doctors will prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to help manage the symptoms. A recent review of the evidence has shown that exercise therapy for Osteoarthritis can be just as effective at managing the symptoms as anti-inflammatory medication. Of course exercise also provides additional benefits for general health, whilst improving the ability to move around more freely and with more confidence to be active doing the things they like to do.
Although not all those who suffer from Osteoarthritis are overweight, carrying extra body weight can be a predisposing factor. This is not only to do with the increased weight that a joint has to carry, but also because increased body fat creates a cellular environment that encourages inflammation throughout the body.
Sometimes I find that people are worried about causing further damage to their joints and struggle to work out what exercise can be done without flaring up the pain. This is where a thorough assessment of your affected joints and muscles can be really useful in getting you moving efficiently and safely again. Following this we work together to plan the best way to formulate an exercise programme that fits in with your lifestyle.
So if you have joints that have been described as ‘worn out’, don’t despair. The pain from joints that exhibit age related changes can be significantly reduced by a customised exercise programme. Contact me in clinic for a full assessment. www.kineticphysio.ie
 Fransen M, McConnell S, Harmer AR, Van der Esch M, Simic, M, Bennell KL. The Cochrane Collaboration, ‘Exercise for Osteoarthritis of the knee’, 2015
 MaryFran R. Sowers and Carrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, The evolving role of Obesity in Knee Osteoarthritis, Curr Opin Rheumatol, 2010.