Many of us will suffer joint pain in later life. However a qualified physio can help in a variety of ways
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Henry Bourne, who works at BMI The Princess Margaret Hospital, is passionate about providing care tailored to each of his patient’s needs.
“Joints and muscles are designed to move,” he says. “When they are immobile for some time they get stiff making the pain worse."
“Gentle exercise is good for general joint health and can help to alleviate pain," adds Mr Bourne. "The latest research about osteoarthritis shows that exercise can and does improve the condition and can even slow its progression.
“Depending on the type of condition you have gentle, low-impact exercise is recommended in the first instance. These exercises can be done where some or all of the body weight is supported (such as swimming and cycling) or just simple walking.”
Yoga and pilates are also good forms of non-impact exercise and help to keep the joints strong and flexible.
Physiotherapy or physio can help with a wide range of injuries and conditions including back and neck pain, repetitive strain injuries, joint pain and arthritis, muscle
injuries, post-surgery rehabilitation, and sports injuries.
It can also be used for rehabilitation either after surgery or to recover from an injury or strain. Gentle exercise is good for general joint health and can help to alleviate pain
Physiotherapists, who are experts in the musculoskeletal system and how it works, will typically use a combination of manual therapy and exercise to treat injuries. However there are other treatments such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, therapeutic ultrasound and pilates.
Purpose-built physio-gyms let physiotherapists work with you to give you expert advice and create an exercise programme especially for your needs.
Other treatments available include:
Traction which can be helpful in relieving pain in the neck or lower back as well as straightening and aligning broken bones that are too difficult to fix with a plaster cast.
Electrotherapy which is the use of electrical energy to manage pain, rehabilitate muscles and increase the range of motion.
Physiotherapy Ultrasound which is used for soft tissue injuries and more chronic conditions, to help heel and relieve pain.
Joint injections which can accelerate the healing process and replace some of the lost cartilage with synthetic cartilage (hyaluronic acid). These injections rarely promote long-term improvement but can have excellent short-term results.
This is usually only considered when other treatments have failed or when the problem is not getting better. It is also generally offered when your condition is so bad that it is interfering with your day-to-day activities.
Joint replacements are designed to allow mobilisation without pain. They are an excellent for joint arthritis once the cartilage in the joint has worn down to bone. Orthopaedic technology has advanced dramatically in the last 30 years now allowing most large and smaller joints in the body to be replaced with excellent results.
For more information on joint pain and how to avoid it download a free copy of The Bare Bones Guide to Joint Pain produced by BMI Healthcare