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Kick Osteoarthritis to the Curb: Your Guide to Joint Pain Relief!

May 15, 20243 min read

Let's talk about joint pain – specifically, the kind that comes with osteoarthritis. It's a real pain in the, well, joints, and it affects a lot of us as we get older. But here's the thing: just because it's common doesn't mean it has to rule your life.

What exactly is osteoarthritis?

Our joints have these little cushions with lube called cartilage that help them move smoothly and gently. Over time, or sometimes due to injuries or underlying conditions, this cartilage starts to wear down. It's like your favourite sneakers losing their cushioning and sole – suddenly, every step feels a bit harder. There is also this fluid in your joints that helps keep everything nice and slippery. As the cartilage wears the fluid can't do its job properly.

Osteoarthritis loves to pick on the big joints of your body – your knees, your ankles, your shoulders – basically because these are the areas that do the majority of the work through your day. This means that even simple tasks like climbing stairs or even just sitting in a lower than normal chair can become a major challenge.

So it seems like it's pretty black and white right? As your cartilage wears out you can't move well and you are destined to have pain. Well, actually, that's just not true!

Every person if they live long enough will have wear and tear in their cartilage. But not every person will have pain or limited capacity. How can that be?

Pain is not just about what is happening in the structures. It is an experience that is heavily influenced by your beliefs, past experiences even your thoughts. Think about when you stub your toe. If you are having a good day and you stub your toe you are far more likely to 'laugh' it off. However if you are having a bad day, stubbing your toe will likely have a much greater impact.

The amount of pain you have from your arthritis is also heavily influenced by how you use that joint, the strength around it and your general physical capacity. If you are well, fit and strong you are far more likely to be able to do more with your arthritic joint then if you are unwell, unfit and weak.

What can you do about it?

Well, first off, it's time to call in the experts – like us at Vital Core Physio. We're not just here to poke and prod at your joints; we're here to listen to you, understand your goals, and help you get back on track. Whether it's through exercises tailored just for you or some hands-on therapy, we've got your back (and your knees, and your shoulders).

With simple but targeted exercise you can build your overall fitness and strength around your arthritic joint(s) so that you can do so much more with som much less discomfort.

Speaking of exercises, they're like the secret sauce when it comes to managing osteoarthritis. Sure, it might be tempting to curl up on the couch and call it a day, but trust me – movement is your friend. We're talking cardio, resistance training and mobility work.

If finding the motivation to exercise solo isn't your thing, no worries. We've got plenty of small group, physio designed and supported classes just for you.

So, here's the bottom line: osteoarthritis might be a pain in the joints, but it doesn't have to be a pain in your life. With the right help, support and a little bit of effort, you can get back to doing the things you love – whether it's hiking in the bush, playing with your grandkids, or just enjoying a stroll with friends.

knee painshoulder painhip painarthritisphysio exercise
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Rebecca Sabine

Physio Beck is the Director of Vital Core Physiotherapy and Pelvic Health who have been serving the Adelaide community wth high quality care since 2003. She is a titled Womens Health Physiotherapist as well as Recreational Sports Physiotherapist currently completing a Masters Degree at LaTrobe University in Melbourne.

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