Osteopath for Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It causes inflammation and pain in the joints, making everyday tasks difficult. Osteopaths treat arthritis with manual therapy, movement instruction, and lifestyle advice.

This article aims to help you understand how osteopathy can help arthritis. We’ll cover 10 ways an osteopath can improve your quality of life. Easing pain, improving mobility, and reducing inflammation.

10 ways an osteopath can help with arthritis
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Table of Contents

Osteopathy for Arthritis

Osteopathy is a holistic approach to treating arthritis. Restrictions in the flow of energy through the body that causes joint pain and stiffness are the basis of this idea.

In osteopathy, the practitioner uses their hands to treat a patient’s spine, neck, and limbs. This treatment can help reduce symptoms of arthritis and improve your ability to move around without pain.

Osteopaths also use massage therapy and exercise to help you manage your symptoms at home.

If you’re looking for an effective and natural way to treat your arthritis, osteopathy may suit you!

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a health condition that affects 3.9 million people in Australia alone, based on the statistics posted by Arthritis NSW. This condition causes inflammation in the joints. Causes include trauma, infection, or disease. Most often, it’s simply due to the natural aging process.

As we age, our joints lose some of their structure. Much like our hair may grey or reduce. This process makes them more susceptible to damage when weight-bearing.

There are several types of arthritis, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Reactive Arthritis
  • Thumb arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Septic arthritis

Each of these types is unique and requires a different treatment plan. Osteopathy is a holistic type of manual medicine that can be used to treat many types of arthritis. It works by using the movement of the spine and joints, helping to improve mobility and lessen pain.

gout inflammatory arthritis
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What causes Arthritis?

There are many potential causes of arthritis, including injury, obesity, and age. Yet, the joint’s natural wear and tear over time is the most common cause of arthritis. This can be due to repetitive movements in workplaces or playing sports, such as:

  • manual labour
  • dentists
  • nurses
  • rugby
  • netball
  • soccer

Osteopaths use manual therapies to help ease arthritis symptoms. They increase mobility and range of motion in affected joints, & restore joint function.

These techniques help decrease inflammation in the affected area and improve blood supply to damaged tissues.

This can reduce pain and increase your range of motion.

Osteopathic treatment includes exercises to strengthen muscles around joints and promote better posture.

Common Symptoms of Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful condition that affects a lot of people in Australia. There are many types of arthritis, each with its own symptoms. Here are some common signs of arthritis:

  • Pain and stiffness in or around the joints
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Limitation in range of motion
  • Changes in walking, posture, hand grip strength, and other movements
  • Decreased ability to perform daily tasks (e.g., dressing, bathing, cooking)
  • Muscle spasm 

Arthritis: the 3rd Most Common Health Condition in Australia

Arthritis is a common health condition in Australia. It is a chronic condition that affects 1 out of 6 people in Australia based on the report by Arthritis New South Wales organisation. The Australian Bureau of Statistics also says it is the 3rd most prevalent health condition. This is behind mental and behavioural conditions and back problems. An ageing population will increase the number of people experiencing this condition.

proportion of people with arthritis by age in australia
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Health Conditions Prevalence 2020-21

Why choose an Osteopath for Arthritis

The best way to manage arthritis is to have an Osteopath. Osteopath will help you regain joint mobility. This is often lost in people with arthritic joints.

An osteopath can suggest exercises that benefit your arthritic condition. Certain types of exercise may not be suitable for people with certain types of arthritis.

Osteopathy can also help you manage the regression of arthritis. They improve blood flow and circulation to the joint. This aims to relieve pain and stiffness, and reduce inflammation and swelling.

10 Ways an Osteopath can Help with Arthritis

1. Joint Mobility

Osteopathic treatment can help improve joint mobility, essential for maintaining range of motion. Stiff and immobile joints can put pressure on the surrounding structures, causing pain. Osteopathy can also help reduce inflammation and swelling which effect joint mobility.

2. Joint Articulation

Articulation of the joints is an essential thing an osteopath can use to treat arthritis. Ligaments hold the joints together. They are bands of tissue that link bones and help stabilise the body. Issues with the ligaments influence arthritis. Joint articulation passively moves the joint through the motion to decrease friction.

Your osteopath will look at how well you can move the arthritic joints and may perform a range of tests for this purpose:

  • Passive motion testTo check how freely you can move your joint, an osteopath will apply pressure on the area while asking you to move it slowly into different positions.
  • Palpation test By feeling along the length of each affected area, an osteopath can identify areas of tenderness.

3. Soft Tissue Massage

A soft tissue massage is a form of bodywork to alleviate muscle tension. It can help relieve pain & stiffness, enhance range of motion, and decrease fatigue.

Many people with arthritis experience muscle tightness throughout their bodies. Chronic inflammation affects the joints and nearby muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. This can lead to increased tension which can restrict movement (meaning less activity).

An osteopath will use pressure on specific body parts for relief from tension or aches. Gentle stretching exercises often follow them to maintain this improvement.

4. Stretching and Releasing

Stretching and releasing the soft tissues can help with arthritis by:

  • Reducing pain and stiffness in joints.
  • Increasing the range of motion in affected joints.
  • Improving muscle function

5. Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a hands-on therapy that relieves pain, stiffness, and muscle tension. It’s performed by an osteopath or physical therapist.

These practitioners gently manipulate these tissues to improve blood flow and reduce swelling. Myofascial release relieves pain by enhancing the range of movement in your joints. It also increases flexibility and reduces muscle guarding.

Myofascial release benefits arthritis in one or more joints because it improves mobility. This reduces stress on moving parts, so they function better without pain.

6. Exercises recommendations for arthritic joint

If you have arthritis, an osteopath can teach you how to control and use your joints.

The first step is understanding how your body moves when it’s healthy. If a joint has become stiff or weak, it needs extra support while exercising.

Exercise helps the muscles around your joints work more efficiently. Additionally, it strengthens your bones. This reduces pain and improves mobility. In fact, some research has shown that exercise can even slow down the progression of arthritis in some people!

If you have yet to exercise because of your joint pain, now might be a good time to start up again. Especially if your osteopath has told you that regular exercise will help keep you mobile for longer! Just make sure not to overdo things during those first few weeks of getting back into shape. Remember that every person’s body responds differently, so don’t push yourself too hard too soon (or before being fully healed).

7. Tailored treatment plan

Your treatment plan will be tailored specifically to your needs. This is because it’s designed just for you! An osteopath considers any symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle factors affecting your arthritis.

The treatment schedule varies with the severity and type of arthritis affecting you. In some cases, regular adjustments & exercise alone may relieve pain and improve mobility. However, other patients might require additional therapies to alleviate their symptoms.

8. Helps you regain normal posture.

An osteopath can help you regain “normal” posture. Or at least a posture that is better for your injury. As you age, your spine actually becomes more curved in a process called hyperkyphosis. Over time you may notice that your shoulders are hunching and that it’s difficult for you to hold them in a relaxed position.

This process is normal. We note that adjustments to these postures regularly can influence people’s arthritic pain. If this is the case for you, an Osteopath can address aches & pains by working with muscles around your neck and back area. Improving the function.

9. Helps you make better choices about exercise and food.

When you have arthritis, your joints can become inflamed and painful. In addition to treating the pain, an osteopath will help you make better choices about exercise and food.

The best way to exercise when you have arthritis is in water because it alleviates joint stress and builds muscle strength. If that’s not possible for you, choose low-impact activities such as walking or cycling on a stationary bike as a starting point. An osteopath can also prescribe exercises geared explicitly toward relieving arthritis pain.

10. An osteopath will help you manage the symptoms of arthritis

You will learn to manage your symptoms by using osteopathic techniques. These can help you with pain, stiffness, and swelling in your joints and surrounding tissues. Osteopathy also supports mobility, which means it can reduce fatigue as well as improve sleep quality.

In addition, the osteopathic approach can help relieve stress and anxiety, which are often linked to chronic pain. This is because it improves your body’s ability to respond to stressors by reducing inflammation.

sydney osteopathy

Will osteopathy work on any joint area?

Osteopathy is a holistic medical approach. It considers the whole person when implementing a treatment plan. This means osteopathy can help with all joints, including the spine, pelvis, neck, and shoulders. It can also be used for any type of arthritis – from rheumatoid arthritis to osteoarthritis.

How to find an Osteopath near me

If you’re looking for an osteopath to help with your Arthritis, MPR Health clinic has a wide range of non-surgical treatments available. We pride ourselves on our friendly approach to treating patients and can provide you with the best care possible.

For more information on how we can assist you, please visit our website or call us at (02) 8054 7166 so we can arrange an appointment with one of our osteopaths in Sydney and the North Shore area!


There are many ways an osteopath can help with arthritis, whether you are taking medication or not. A holistic approach to treatment is key to reducing the symptoms of arthritis and improving your quality of life. Osteopathy treats the whole person and aims at the underlying causes of disease rather than just treating symptoms. If you have arthritis, we encourage you to contact us today. We are here to help!

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Our North Shore Osteopaths are here to help you with your pain so you can get back to living your best life without worrying about pain.

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Suite 5/132 Pacific Hwy,
Roseville NSW 2069.

In the spirit of reconciliation, MPR Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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If you want to find a registered Osteopath in the North Shore and Sydney, then you’ve found one. MPR Health provides osteopathy services to the following suburbs: