Osteoarthritis and its treatment

Dr. Robert Salter was a Stratford-born Canadian world renowned orthopedic surgeon whose medical research at the University of Toronto helped change the traditionally accepted treatment of injured joints.  For many years the accepted treatment was immobilisation.  In 1970, Salter realised that joint cartilage was not stimulated to either heal or regenerate.  He discovered the benefits to the joints of continuous passive motion (CPM).

Although an immobilised joint may not experience pain, there is still damage at a cellular level.  Lack of mobility causes the release of enzymes that cause deterioration of a joint.    That in itself presents a really good case for encouraging gentle movement.  Similarly, if the muscles are tight, this too will restrict movement.  The damage or wear and tear to the joint is referred to as osteoarthritis.

When one joint becomes immobilised, this may lead to other related joints being adversely affected. Therefore therapies such as massage, shiatsu therapy and chiropractic treatments applied in a controlled fashion help to remove muscular adhesions and stimulate motion so that there is no further deterioration.  Gentle exercise, along with appropriate stretches, are also to be recommended in its treatment.

One important consideration is that if the problem is chronic or longstanding then in all likelihood repeated treatments may be required to effectively treat an osteo-arthritic condition.  It is possible after the first treatment the patient may experience dramatic improvement.  However, it is possible that with a longstanding problem, the pain may return within a short while.  The good news is that repeated treatments will have a beneficial cumulative effect, so it is important not to be discouraged.  Relief is on the way.  It is also possible that with relief on one joint, pain may temporarily shift to another area.  That too will pass.

It is always important to voice any concerns that you have the treatment for your condition.  You are not alone and we are here to help you.