By definition osteoarthritis is a chronic degeneration of the articular cartilage and subchondral part of bone in joints. Healthy cartilage is resilient and able to yield under compression and recover when the weight has been removed. This is partially due to the fact that cartilage is 80% water! Osteoarthritis can be as a result of years of biomechanical stress or have no known cause. It is one of the oldest known conditions, and as a result massage has been it’s primary treatment for eons, with mention of massage as treatment in by Hippocrates in 400 BC and Chinese writings as far back as 3000 BC .
In the early stages the ends of the bone where the cartilage resides start to break down. Initially the response is for the joint to swell as the body attempts to heal itself. However because cartilage has little or no blood supply this inflammatory response is ineffective. This stage may last for years.
Over time the number cells that cause the inflammatory response lessen and the cartilage thins and softens, forming ridges and portions of the cartilage start to break off into the joint space. Eventually the more sensitive subchondral bone becomes exposed. Later as the subchondral bone remodels and thickens, and the exposed surface becomes polished from the constant bone on bone contact. Small fractures and cysts appear and weaken the bone structure. In an attempt to support the joint, new bone and cartilage grow at the ends of the joint called bone spurs or osteophytes altering the shape of the joint and restricting movement, as well as compressing nerve roots, such as in the spine. Muscles in both stages may tighten and go into spasm.
Massage can complement to a complete osteoarthritis pain management program(exercise, proper nutrition , drug therapies, stress management, hydrotherapy) -after correct medical diagnosis by your doctor or rheumatologist- for all stages by addressing the symptoms- loosening tight muscles, increasing local blood flow, and increasing range of motion-how far you can move! It can also help with the stress of the condition- by enhancing your sense of well being, so you can get on with your day, be it work or play!
To book a visit with Jennifer to see how she can help you with your osteoarthritis pain contact Ultimate Sports Therapy today!
Frozen shoulder aka adhesive capsulitius is a painful shoulder and arm condition that tends to affect women between the ages of 40-70. It is called this not because it makes you feel cold, but frozen and stiff in the sense of a frozen statue! It can resolve on its own in two years, but several studies have shown it can affect people for 5- 10 years. It generally happens in 3 stages. The first is the acute or “freezing” the shoulder is very painful and you are unable to move it much, if at all. The second is the “frozen” stage- lasting roughly 4-12 months-where the arm increases in motion, there is less pain, but there are adhesions within the joint capsule itself. The most notable area of adhesion is the biceps tendon with the subscapularis (the back of your rotator cuff) tendon. This results in the rotator cuff muscles adhering to the glenoid rim- the part of the shoulder blade that is attaches to the humerus ( arm bone) . Causing the joint to thicken and tighten the third is the “thawing phase” or chronic stage, where motion and function returns, however full motion entirely may not be regained. There is no longer pain at nighttimes.
What causes Frozen Shoulder?? In some cases, maintaining a hyperkyphotic posture (the position of sitting at a computer all day, taking care of babies or aging parents) can cause an alteration of the scapuohumeral (the shoulder blade and your arm) alignment. Systemic medical conditions seem to predispose people to it- such as diabetes, thyroid conditions, and Parkinsons
It is important to seek treatment in the acute phase as soon as possible as this corresponds heavily to the recovery time required. I have treated several clients in the past with this condition successfully, by giving clients a compressive treatment plan.
Book your appointment today to see how I can help you!
Hyper -what? Being prone to sports injuries: sprains, and the pains getting on your nerves.
I would definitely say that at least ten percent of my clients suffer from the consequences of hypermobility. Seven of those due to body type, and three percent because they were pregnant or are currently.
The definition is an increased range of motion (ROM) at a joint. This can occur in one spot or be an overall condition. Hypermobility can be graded by utilizing a point system that measures the flexibility of specific joints called The Brighton Scale- to determine the extent of their Hypermobility. I use it when I suspect someone’s discomfort or injury may be due to this condition.
They may be further at risk for musculoskeletal symptoms and injuries such as sprains, tendinitis, and nerve entrapments (like carpal tunnel syndrome). Of these approximately five percent of these present with Hypermobility Syndrome- muscle and joint pain, tendonitis, hyperextensible skin, and structural heart problems. Women and children tend to be more susceptible than men, especially when pregnant. This is due to the fact that a hormone named relaxin is released during pregnancy to allow the joints and ligaments to help with the labour and delivery of the child. This hypermobility remains noticeable in the pelvis, ankle and feet.
Also certain other conditions predispose people to Hypermobility. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA- an autoimmune disorder that attacks the joints causing inflammation and breakdown of connective tissues) results in Hypermobility of the affected joints. Ehlers-Danolos Syndromes is an inherited disorder that are hallmarked by overall excessive joint hypermobility often to the point of dislocations. Those that have Marfans syndrome-generally unusually tall and thin body types-where elastin (the protein that is found in connective tissue)- is fragmented, characterized by symptoms ranging from eye and to heart problems.
Other causes of hypermobility would be due to occupation or activity- such as an acrobatics or gymnast, Compensation due to lack of motion elsewhere in the body, or trauma to a joint- such as an ankle sprain. This can result in sore and tight muscles as they rally to hold the joint together in an attempt to compensate for the lack of stability formerly provided by the ligaments that have overstretched. The joint capsule itself can become overstretched. This is why strengthening and always maintaining that muscle strength becomes important, and where I evaluate the clients’ relative strength and provide appropriate exercise.
If you suspect you suffer from this condition, be it in your shoulders or all over, feel free to contact me at Ultimate Sports Therapy for your free initial assessment as how I can help you with your pain today!