Osteoarthritis is a very common condition which can affect any joint in the body. It’s most likely to affect the joints that hold most of our weight, such as the knees and feet. Joints that we use a lot in everyday life, such as the fingers and thumb, are also affected.
In a healthy joint, a coating of tough but smooth and slippery tissue (called cartilage) that covers the surface of the bones and helps the bones to move freely against each other. When a joint develops osteoarthritis, part of the covering thins and the bone becomes rougher. This means the joint doesn’t move as smoothly as it should.
The changes to the joint make-up can sometimes cause pain, swelling or difficulty in moving the joint normally. Often these symptoms can be mild and manageable, however in some cases this can have an impact on your daily life.
Health professionals can diagnose osteoarthritis with a physical check-up without the need for x-rays, if:
- you are 45 or over AND
- Have related joint pain AND
- Have either no morning joint-related stiffness or morning stiffness that lasts no longer than 30 minutes.
Although there’s no cure for osteoarthritis yet, there are many treatments that can help relieve the symptoms and allow you to get on with your life. You can often manage your osteoarthritis without the need for medical treatments.
What do Cardiff and Vale offer?
Cardiff and Vale UHB offers a wide range of services across the Health Board that may help you manage your osteoarthritis, these include self-help education and management advice that can be found in the links below. Or you may be referred by your health professional to one of our local Hand Therapy, Physiotherapy, or Weight Management services.
Also in this section
- Osteoarthritis (NHS website)
- Exercise (NHS website)
- Osteoarthritis treatment and support (NHS website)
- Arthritis pilates video workout (NHS website)
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) (NHS website)
- Osteoarthritis Research Society International
- Versus Arthritis -exercising with arthritis
- How to conserve your energy
- Versus Arthritis – Osteoarthritis
- Versus Arthritis – Joint Care
If you still feel your symptoms are associated with Osteoarthritis and require a formal assessment, please make an appointment with your GP or health professional.