Osteoarthritis (OA) Carnegie
Osteoarthritis is not just ‘wear and tear’ or an inevitable part of aging. OA is a progressive condition that is associated with pain, stiffness and functional limitation. OA affects the joints, including bone, cartilage, and tissues within and around the joints, including the muscles. Risk factors for OA of the lower limbs include a history of joint trauma, overweight or obesity, and poor body biomechanics. OA is often associated with persistent joint pain that can affect mood and your quality of life.
Best-practice management of OA usually involves a team approach, with physiotherapy being an important component. Our physiotherapists will spend time with you to understand the impact that OA is having on your life and the goals you want to reach. Our approach includes:
- Assessment of the impact of OA on your physical, mental and social wellbeing. To help us with this, we may ask you to complete questionnaires.
- Assessment of your current levels of physical activity and lifestyle habits.
- Assessment of the characteristics of your pain, swelling and stiffness.
- Examination of your posture; particularly your feet, knees, hips and shoulders.
- Examination of your muscle strength.
- Understanding the benefits of any other treatments you have received or are currently receiving such as medications or surgery.
We focus on improving your physical fitness, strength and mental wellbeing through active approaches to your rehabilitation that includes specific exercise (land or water based), biomechanical corrections, education, optimising your body weight and cardiovascular fitness. Our treatment approaches align with the most recent Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) guidelines for the management of OA. See the summary of these clinical guidelines for knee OA here. For more information about management of joint pain related to OA, see these Australian resources – MyJointPain and painHEALTH.