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Osteopathy and Arthritis

After a long winter people are looking forward to spring, getting outside and moving more. If you suffer from arthritis however, moving can be a painful thing. There are many types of arthritis, however, the most common is osteoarthritis. This condition affects the joint capsules, effectively reducing the shock absorbing ability of the joints This results in swelling and pain, and in the long term can greatly impact the quality of your life.


For people with OA, they don’t want to move because it hurts! The irony is that moving more is one of the best treatments. Along with eating well (Canada’s new food guide) and maintaining a healthy weight, moderate exercise helps to stimulate and promote healthy circulation in the joint capsule. Medical knowledge states that osteoarthritis can come from normal wear and tear as we age. What if we could decrease these effects? The philosophy of osteopathy states that if the body is moving better than it will function better. Keeping all of the joints, fascia and connective tissue mobile, the body can move, and function better. Studies have shown, in fact, that osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) combined with standard medical care was more successful with patient pain outcomes than standard care alone.


Glucosamine is one of the main components of the joint capsules in our bodies. After the age of 40, however, our bodies produce less of this substance. Studies have shown that only a specific type of glucosamine (glucosamine sulfate), can prevent deterioration and also boost the joint capsule improving the shock absorbing ability of joints. This means less inflammation, swelling and ultimately less pain as we move. One supplement I recommend a lot is Adeeva’s “glucosamine joint formula” that we carry in the clinic. You can buy glucosamine at a lot of places but I recommend this formulation specifically because of the “type” of glucosamine it contains and because it also contains three natural herbal supplements (MSM, quercetin and bromelain). There is research to show that these three supplements reduce inflammation in the body and in the joints in particular. I’ve added the link below to the adeeva website for more information. Also, it can take up to 12 weeks for glucosamine to work so it’s important to commit to using it for 3 months before judging the effect. I take this supplement every day!

Keep moving?

Arthritis is a complicated condition, one that affects everyone a little bit differently. Just as we are unique, our approach to the problem of arthritis needs to individual, and multi-layered. Along with proper nutrition, exercise and medical care, our team at Back to Health Wellness (with osteopathic treatment in particular) may be beneficial. The take away message is clear however, whatever stage of life you are in, keep your body mobile and keep moving!

Monique Guilderson MSc.BMC, D.O.M.P (Osteopath)


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