Osteoarthritis (OA)

What is it?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis.

It’s understood to be a form of degeneration within a joint which is caused by mechanical stress. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, stiffness and mild swelling. The pain is often described as a sharp ache or constant low grade pain.

Osteoarthritis can affect all areas of the body including the feet, hands, knees, hips and spine. The joints can change shape, often becoming enlarged. In the feet, it contributes to the formation of bunions. Diagnosis is based on history and clinical examination. An x-ray can assist in the diagnosis.

Treatment options

Lifestyle changes are important in the management of osteoarthritis, such as losing weight. Tailored exercise programs can improve the function and pain for OA in the hip and knee. The use of physical therapies such as dry needling and low level laser therapy can reduce localised pain and swelling.

Orthotic therapy can be useful to provide cushioning and offloading of painful joints in the feet. Different orthotic wedging can also affect knee and hip osteoarthritis. Your podiatrist will recommend footwear to assist with foot deformity caused by osteoarthritis.

Other treatment options include

  • Steroid injections.
  • Pain medication.
  • Surgery – this can be discussed with your podiatrist.

In clinic results:

There is substantial evidence to support the use of low level laser therapy in treating OA along with exercise.

We routinely use this low level laser therapy as a primary treatment option to manage painful arthritic presentations.

We’ll find a solution that suits you

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We are committed to solving the problem rather than offering a quick fix. In addition to treatment we’ll provide advice on how you can make small adjustments to reduce your pain, minimise the risk of injury and improve your quality of life.