Blog cover image (Oct 2021)

Understanding Osteoarthritis rumours and movement.

It’s no surprise to hear that people get their knowledge of medical issues from a lot of areas such as the internet (hello Google), family, friends, personal experiences and also from health professionals. How they decide what is good information and what is out of date is very difficult and we all tend to agree more with information that fits with what we already know or what we want to know.

Take the internet for example, how do we know it is correct? How much is advertising of products? How much is old science or has been shown to be incorrect? This can be difficult to judge when we are sitting at home, particularly if we are in pain or experiencing pain during exercise or movement. 

David Rigg sports rehabilitator | NK Active south coast sports injury clinic

We get information from people we trust – our parents and friends but where did they get it from? If we are in our 60’s and learned from our parents when we were in our teens they may have learned that information 20 or 30 years before so it is now 60 or 70 years out of date and science will change.  

Mostly, as humans, it is very hard for us to admit we were wrong and it is unhelpful to tell people they are wrong as they will “know” differently. 

It’s far more helpful to roll with resistance and not challenge it directly, to provide a different opinion for someone to consider that could be true and provide facts (not thoughts) to back this up. 

NK Active Sports Rehabilitator Instructor David, sheds some light on some of the most common questions around Osteoarthritis (OA) and movement. 

Why does OA hurt some people when they move yet no changes are seen on x-rays?  

Our lifestyles (and even small basic movement) can give us low grade inflammation and this can sometimes present as pain in the joint.  It is common for the pain to fluctuate, but this does not mean that the structure of the joint is getting worse.

Imaging (x-rays) can detect structure but can not detect changes in sensation. Sensation changes can make you think and feel differently about pain and how bad your joint is.  

Equally, everyone’s experience of living with Osteoarthritis will be different and as high as 60% of people with radiographic knee Osteoarthritis may not complain of pain at all.

There is also research to suggest that even with radiographic Osteoarthritis without pain there can still be changes to joint function and mobility. Like we always say, “every body is different”. 

Does movement wear out the joint?  

General health and wellbeing have been shown to support people with Osteoarthritis. There are of course occasions when people may need to modify their activity to manage their joint symptoms, but generally movement is good.

Exercise and strength training can support joint function and reduce pain, this is an integral part of the rehabilitation and management programme in NK Active. How you implement this will be individual to you – some people will do this in a group or with support from individuals with knowledge to re-educate and support you to make lasting changes – but avoiding exercises or activities we don’t like can lead to negative behaviours and thoughts.  

Another reason why a strength and rehabilitation programme designed to your symptoms and needs is vital for recovery and managing Osteoarthritis long term. 

Osteoarthritis and the future. 

We know that science in Osteoarthritis treatment has changed and as a result we know more now than we did 15 or so years ago. 

We believe strongly in the proof of clinical data and the research around a condition like Osteoarthritis and we know that small steps and a bespoke pain management and rehabilitation plan can make positive improvements.  

Osteoarthritis and NK Active. 

Throughout October we are running an #ArthritisAwarenessCampaign answering your questions and sharing top tips and myth-busting on Arthritis.

You can read NK Active Podiatrist Charlie’s blog on “What is Osteoarthritis” and common symptoms here.

If you have any questions please contact us and let us know. Keep an eye on our social media channels too! #moveforward

Leave a Comment