Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is a chronic, progressive condition most often affecting the hips and knees.
Due to this condition, tissue and cartilage break down, eventually losing joint function. Symptoms include pain and stiffness, which can lead to movement limitations and a reduced quality of life.
More than 10 percent of Canadians over the age of 15 have osteoarthritis and although there is no cure, treatment options are available.
Osteoarthritis can develop in any joint that has cartilage-covered joint surfaces. The knee is especially prone to injury, which often results in osteoarthritis. Symptoms include discomfort during weight-bearing activity, clicking and popping sounds, stiffness and instability, and the knee giving out. In cases of severe degeneration of the knee joint, deformities like knock-knees or bowed-legs can develop.
Symptoms of hip osteoarthritis include pain on the outside of the hip or deep within the groin region, pain on the inside or outside of the thigh, and pain along the length of the leg.
Some sufferers do not experience hip pain but rather the pain feels as though it emanates from the thigh or knee area.
Treatment under the care of a registered physiotherapist is a recognized and effective solution for many musculoskeletal problems such as hip and knee osteoarthritis. Physiotherapists in Canada are university-trained health professionals registered with a professional college in each province.
Physiotherapy is recommended as part of a treatment plan for osteoarthritis, in all stages of the condition.
Proper ongoing care can greatly improve pain levels and maintain functional movement, and reduce medication usage.
Following an appointment, your physiotherapist may recommend several of the following treatment methods: