When Does Joint Pain Mean You Need an Operation? Chiropractors at The Avenue Clinic in Southampton Discuss What You Should Consider.

A recent study in the UK published in the Rheumatology International Journal spoke to 1,300 people and found that people with joint pain often put off obtaining a diagnosis until they reach a critical point – when they just can’t stand it any more.

Do you fear that if you are getting older, any joint pain ‘must be osteoarthritis’ and think that only an operation can help you? Do you believe that conservative treatment won’t help and by seeking treatment, all you are doing is ‘delaying the inevitable’? It could well be that the pain is not arthritis but joint restriction for a different reason and treatment by a chiropractor can help restore function and stop you worrying. If it is osteoarthritis then it should be managed properly and we can help you do that.

Osteoarthritis is different to rheumatoid arthritis and I will explain the differences in my next post. You can see the differences above though – rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease but osteoarthritis is ‘wear and tear’ and is a part of the normal ageing process.

The important thing is that you should seek advice sooner rather than later as if you do have osteoarthritis and do need surgery, it is more effective if it is done before the pain becomes really severe and restricts your everyday activities.


If we are helping you with the pain of arthritis, we can see early on if the exercises and our treatments are not having enough beneficial effects on your mobility and therefore when you should see your GP for a surgical referral. In my last post you saw the effect of regular exercise on the muscles. The stronger the muscles are around a joint, the less pain in an affected joint and if you do need an replacement joint, you will recover quicker if you have strong muscles before the operation.


If your joint pain is due to osteoarthritis, the study said that people didn’t realize that correct self management and exercise are really valuable in reducing pain and often delay the need for an operation. According to the National Institute for Health and Excellence (NICE) exercise and keeping moving is one of the most effective ways in which people with osteoarthritis can help themselves.


At the Avenue Clinic, we can help you with the most appropriate exercises for your problem and Dr Barton uses acupuncture around the affected joints that is often very effective at reducing the pain of arthritic joints. We also have Cristina Palici at the clinic on Mondays. She is an acupuncturist whose treatment is designed to treat your whole body. She also does massage that can help releive arthritic pain.

If you have joint pain and you are worrying that it could be arthritis or ‘wear and tear’ – do something more positive – come in to see us so that we can examine you and give you a proper diagnosis.