Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition of one or more joints that most of us develop at some point in our lives and to varying degrees of severity.
Osteoarthritis means that there have been some changes to the bones of the affected joint most likely as a result of wear and tear. It is important to remember that even though you may have been given the diagnosis of arthritis, this does NOT equal a life sentence of suffering or that you cannot do anything about it.
I have found that even if there are severe changes to the bones of a joint it is still possible to achieve lasting relief from pain, increase the mobility and consequently also your confidence in the joint.
In Chinese medicine there is a saying,
“The hinges of a well-used door never rust”
And this is a fantastic analogy for our joints over time. OA most often result from over-using joints in perhaps not quite the most efficient way. But what accelerates the condition and their debilitating effect even more quickly is stopping moving your body once you experience arthritic pain or receive the dreaded diagnosis. Once you become used to living with the pain then you may begin to move in a restricted way and even create new patterns of tension and altered gait as a result. Then your joints (hinges) can only continue their ‘rusting’ and the condition can spread to affect the soft tissue around the affected joint as well as the integrity of neighbouring joints.
Using Tui Na therapy, Acupuncture and an eastern approach to exercise
Both Tui Na and acupuncture are very precise and targeted therapies and I use them both in helping to first of all relieve pain from an arthritic joint, and then helping to achieve the maximum mobility that is possible from that joint.
Part of a treatment would include self-care advice and training which would allow you to carry on the effects of a session at home. The Chinese long ago devised systems of exercise that can greatly benefit joints at almost all stages of ‘rusting’. Performing these specific regular exercises are essential to prevent atrophy and increase the strength of the supporting soft tissues. Daily self-massage of the joint (where possible, a knee for example) can also help and is simple to perform once instructed.