We aim for pain relief and better function without surgery

Broadly speaking, arthritis can be divided into inflammatory (diseases such as Rheumatoid) arthritis or more commonly degenerative or osteoarthritis. In osteoarthritis (OA) there is a breakdown of normal joint fluid and cartilage, sometimes due to an injury such as an ACL tear or fracture, but more commonly due to a combination of aging processes, genetics, and lifestyle factors. While OA can affect any joint, the knee and hip are often the most problematic as this typically limits activity and quality of life.

  • OA is a major cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia
  • >3.95 million Australians suffer from OA pain
  • Up to two thirds of people suffering from OA are of working age
  • Traditionally, treatments are only directed towards pain relief
  • While pain relief remains a primary objective at SPARC, we believe in a multidisciplinary approach to reduce progression of OA, increase function and quality of life and health

While having some degree of OA is a normal part of aging, there are many strategies other than surgery that can help keep you healthy and active in your life.

Ongoing knee or hip pain should not be dismissed as an inevitable part of getting older, especially if it starts to limit your daily life and activity levels

Rest would seem to be a common-sense approach to take if a joint hurts, however studies and international consensus are unanimous that activity plays a major part of appropriate treatment.  We have a fully equipped specialty OA gym service, with appropriate sports physiotherapists and exercise physiologists to help guide you through the process, whether it be with 1:1 sessions or small group classes.

Treatment options

In addition, there are many other evidence based strategies to explore which can include:

  • Weight loss (shown to reduce 4x that amount of force on the knee joint)
    • So even losing 5kg would feel like taking 20kg of pressure off the joint
  • Bracing and orthotics to deload the more symptomatic side
  • A variety of natural supplements and gels
  • Modern pharmaceuticals
  • Radiofrequency denervation (numb the nerves in the joint)
  • Injection therapies        
    • Corticosteroids
    • Visco-supplementation gels (stimulating an increase in normal joint lubrication)
    • Platelet rich plasma (blood injections)

Exercise is Medicine

However underpinning all treatments for osteoarthritis is movement. SPARC practitioners believe that “exercise is medicine” remains a key component of treatment. Surgical options are of course advised in many advanced situations, but for those whom surgery is either not appropriate, or arthritis not yet bad enough to warrant surgery, our aim is to defer your joint replacement as long as possible while keeping you moving and comfortable in your life.

If non-surgical management of your OA is your aim, we look forward to working with you to keep you moving, healthy and happy.

Latest updates

View all updates
Facebook — February 18, 2019

2019 brings 2 experienced GPs and sports doctors joining us, and the beginning of their specialist training. Excited to welcome Dr Buckley and Kleinschmidt to the SPARC family.

View Post
Facebook — February 15, 2019

Michael featured on a bonus episode of Inside Running Podcast doing what he does best; Educating! #podiatrist

View Post
Facebook — February 11, 2019

️Stocking Archie’s Arch Support Thhongs! $35 ️We mean it when we say these are the comfiest thongs ever and they look like normal thongs!Get in quick before they all sell out!Colours currently in stock: black, navy, coral, white. Coming soon: light blue.

View Post
Facebook — February 07, 2019

No more tying ice packs up with old tea towels and staying still so they don’t slip off!We sell Sideline - Ice n Wraps!Perfect for upper limb and lower limb injuries or recovery. Just fill the bag with ice and strap it on with the comfortable Velcro straps.$35.00Thanks Blake for modelling the ice pack while you wait for your appointment! #sportsinjury #RICER #ice #recovery #joints #pain #injuryrecovery

View Post