Osteoarthritis: Understanding and Managing the Common Arthritic Condition

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It's a disease which causes the cartilage in the joints to degenerate and wear down.

Oct 2022

Table of contents

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis. This disease leads to the degeneration and wearing down of cartilage in the joints. Several factors can trigger its development, including injuries, trauma, or excessive use of a specific joint. Furthermore, osteoarthritis often runs in families and can vary in levels of pain and stiffness.

What arthritis looks like

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

  • Pain in affected joint(s)
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty manipulating objects

Recommendations for Management

Understand the Condition

It is important to understand the nature of your condition. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease with periods of severe pain during which the affected joints may require rest. In contrast, there are periods when stiffness predominates, emphasising the importance of moving the joints within comfortable pain thresholds.

Treatment and Support


Depending on the severity and location of your arthritis symptoms, a custom-made splint (whether hard, soft or functional) may be needed. This splint can provide immobilisation and rest for the painful joint(s).

Hand Therapy

Hand therapy not only alleviates pain but also equips you with essential exercises to fortify your hands, ensuring optimal function. At The Hands Physio, our primary goal is to empower you with the tools and knowledge to manage this condition independently.

Self-help Tools

We have a comprehensive booklet that describes equipment that can help protect your joints (see download link). These aids can also enable you to carry out household activities that might otherwise cause discomfort.

The Road Ahead

While there's currently no cure for arthritis, it's possible to manage your symptoms and live a relatively pain-free life. Regular exercise can improve your abilities, and sometimes you may need equipment to help you perform challenging tasks. An experienced hand therapist can help you determine the best tools and strategies for you.

Arthritis x ray

Ready to take the next step towards managing your osteoarthritis? Book an appointment with us now.

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