Osteopathic treatment of arthritic joints follows the same holistic philosophy as for any other condition. On a local level, the practitioner will utilize soft tissue techniques on the surrounding muscles and fascia, combined with functional techniques to balance the tensions in the joint capsule and ligaments.
However it is with a more global approach that osteopathy will be most beneficial; by assessing for and treating chronic compensation patterns arising from previous traumas, which have altered the biomechanical function of the musculoskeletal system, osteopathy will aid to reduce the stress forces applied to the joint and thus its deterioration.
Osteopathy however, as any other kind of treatment, is not able to cure and reverse the joint degeneration. It will facilitate blood/venous/lymphatic drainage, joint mobility and muscle relaxation, and remove any excessive stress on the joint. Osteopathy will slow down and reduce further degeneration of the joint and advise patients about simple exercises and life style changes that may transform and improve the quality of their daily lives.
In occasional cases, when surgery is necessary, patients will be referred to a specialist.