Close up of a man sitting and holding his knee in pain due to injury

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints.

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it most commonly affects the knees, hips, low back, neck, and fingers/hands. Osteoarthritis is characterised by a break down and loss of cartilage that sits between the joints. This in turn leads to pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. As the condition worsens overtime, excess bone growth in the form of “bone spurs” may start to develop causing further pain, inflammation, and loss of mobility.

Although osteoarthritis can affect people of all ages, its prevalence increases rapidly from the age of 45 years. It is most common in adults aged 80 years and older. In addition, it is also more common in females than males. Risk factors for developing osteoarthritis include, age, being female, obesity, joint injury, muscle weakness and anatomical factors.

Patients suffering from osteoarthritis report varying symptoms depending on the joints affect and progression of the condition. Typical symptoms related to osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain – OA pain is generally mechanical in nature. It will typically increase with movement or load and decrease with rest. Pain or “stiffness” may also occur after periods of inactivity. Pain can vary between dull achiness to a sharper pain.
  • Loss of mobility – due to the change in structure of the joint, the movement function is often compromised. Loss of movement worsens as the condition progresses.
  • Crepitus – this is the sounds our joints make. People with OA often report sounds occurring when they move their joints. Again, due to the change in structure and irregularities in the joint surface these noises start to occur.
  • Mild swelling – the loss of cartilage and irregularities in the joint surface cause friction and inflammation and swelling to build up.
  • Joint deformity – the loss of cartilage and increased bone growth can create changes to the appearance of the joint.

Osteoarthritis can be diagnosed clinically, but a more definitive diagnosis is established through x-ray, CT, or MRI. Osteoarthritis can be categorised into two categories, primary and secondary OA. 

Primary Osteoarthritis

Primary osteoarthritis is the natural wear and tear that our joints endure throughout our lifetimes. The stresses and strains that we naturally expose our bodies to eventually causes breakdown of cartilage in joints in everyone.

Primary OA is like owning a car, overtime, the more you use it and drive it the more the seats and tyres get worn. Primary osteoarthritis typically starts to show between the ages of 55-60.

Secondary Osteoarthritis

Secondary osteoarthritis involves a specific trigger or factor that exacerbates the breakdown of cartilage. Some of the common factors contributing to secondary OA include:

  • Injury – injuries that involve the joint can increase the chance of developing OA. These injuries include fractures, dislocations, ligament ruptures, tendon injuries.
  • Genetics
  • Inactivity – regular exercise that keeps the muscles and joints healthy and strong can delay the onset of OA.
  • Obesity – Increased load speeds up the wear and tear process on the joints.
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Hypermobility disorders

Chiropractic Treatment and Management of Osteoarthritis

Chiropractic treatment of osteoarthritis varies between patients, as it depends on the location and severity of the arthritis, as well as the age and function of the patient.

Treatment should be considered more as ongoing “management and prevention”. This is because we cannot reverse the wear and tear changes. What we can do is help limit the progression of the condition as well as help manage pain and disability associated with it. Understanding the current state of your joint health is important to preventing and slowing these changes from occurring.

Treatment of osteoarthritis focuses on:

  • Relief of pain and stiffness
  • Enhance and maintain mobility
  • Enhance and maintain joint stability and muscle strength
  • Improvement of movement patterns
  • Postural and movement retraining

At Impulse Chiropractic, we use a number of treatment methods to help with osteoarthritis. Our management programs are individualised and specific to each patient. We use a combination of the following to help:

  • Massage and myofascial release techniques
  • Joint manipulation and mobilisation
  • Dry needling
  • Exercise rehabilitation and programming
  • Clinical Pilates
  • Postural and movement retraining
  • Lifestyle and ergonomic advice
For further information, or to consult with one of our skilled Chiropractors you can use the Contact or Book Online now buttons at the top of this page, call our North Curl Curl practice on (02) 9939 8817, or visit Impulse Chiropractic & Natural Therapies‘ state of the art Chiropractic clinic at 15/64 Pitt Road in North Curl Curl.

Common Conditions We Treat


Headaches are one of the most common neurologic symptoms experienced by adults and children. Chiropractic treatment can help in the management of some types of headaches.

Neck pain

Neck pain is becoming an increasingly common issue throughout the world, with around two thirds of people experiencing neck pain at some point in their life.

Low Back pain

Low back pain is our most common complaint presenting to Impulse Chiropractic. Low back pain affects approximately 60-80% of people throughout their lifetime.

Thoracic/Rib Pain

Increased usage of technology, increased sedentary lifestyles, working from home and adoption of poor postures has contributed to more people suffering from thoracic and rib pain.

Coccyx Pain

Coccyx/tailbone pain can be an extremely painful and debilitating condition. Females are 5 times more likely to experience this pain than males.

Hip Pain

Sedentary lifestyles and increased time sitting can have a negative impact on hip function and mobility. This makes us more susceptible to pain and injury.

Shoulder pain

The shoulder is a complex, mobile and dynamic joint! Most shoulder conditions involve the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bursa.

TMJ/Jaw Pain

The temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) or TMJ is one of the most heavily used joints in the body. It therefore can be a common source of pain and dysfunction.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common, painful foot condition that can affect people of all ages and activity levels.

Sports injuries

Our chiropractors are well trained in the specific mechanisms involved in sports injuries as well as having backgrounds participating in high level sports themselves.


Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it most commonly affects the knees, hips, low back, neck, and fingers/hands.


Sciatica is a debilitating condition that is characterised by pain, numbness or weakness in the area of the sciatic nerve or associated lumbosacral nerve root.