Osteopathy and getting older
Retirement can bring time for leisure, travel opportunities and interests. There is the opportunity to take up those sports and activities that you never had time for whilst working and bringing up your family, e.g. golf, gardening, badminton, fitness classes etc. The body, however, has changed. It has lost some of its elasticity and ability to adapt. It has also experienced injuries and postural stress during those years, often resulting in repetitive strain injuries, stiffness and degenerative changes.
The onset of health issues such as high blood pressure, digestive and circulatory disorders and arthritis have all begun to have a noticeable effect on the body’s energy and ability to perform. Many grandparents also help working parents by caring for their grandchildren – a pleasure for many but also a strain on the older body.
Quality of life is especially important for this age group where there are increasing concerns about loss of independence and mobility.
Osteopathy can help greatly during this time. An osteopath will take a full case history so they can understand how the body has been affected so far. Then, after a full examination and assessment the osteopath will be able to offer treatment and advice to help improve mobility, circulation and reduce joint stiffness so that a person can enjoy a full and active life in retirement.
The treatment is usually gentle and aims to maintain health and prevent further injury. Dietary advice may also be given to help maintain healthy bones and joints.
• Gentle stretching daily to help maintain tissue elasticity and joint mobility
• Walk as much as possible to keep circulation healthy and maintain muscle tone
• Have a daily rest to recover energy for the rest of the day’s activities
• The use of trainers or similar footwear can help to reduce wear and tear to the knee and hip joints, and can also help reduce back pain when walking on hard pavements.
Symptoms include pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints, Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition often referred to as “wear and tear”. It is generally caused by postural strains, heavy manual work or old injuries. Recent evidence also links it to diet which can exacerbate inflammation in the body.
Osteopaths can help manage Osteoarthritis most effectively by assisting with early diagnosis and providing guidance on changes to lifestyle in order to prevent further degeneration. Gentle Osteopathic treatment also works to relieve symptoms on an ongoing basis by reducing inflammation, swelling and pain, and improving mobility of the joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is more difficult to treat as the patient also experiences an auto-immune response which combines the symptoms of Osteoarthritis, with aches and pains all over the body and often more extreme swelling of joints and reduction in movement.
Osteopaths can however help to relieve symptoms that are connected to the musculoskeletal system.
In all cases of arthritis, early diagnosis and guidance on lifestyle changes provides sufferers with the best tools to manage their Arthritis and reduce suffering. Contact us for more information.