What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, there are multiple facts that are responsible for the progress like genetics, ageing, hormonal and mechanical. The symptoms common in all bone diseases like arthritis and osteoarthritis is an incurable condition that causes the disintegration of the bone cartilage this is a tough, flexible tissue that is attached to the two ends of the bones where they meet to form a joint. When the bone disintegrates the cartilage makes the bones rub against each other causing stiffness, pain and loss of movement in that joint.
What Is the Treatment for Osteoarthritis?
Current treatments and therapy focus on giving a patient relief from the symptoms instead of trying to cure the disease or check the progression of osteoarthritis because if not controlled it can lead to disability over time. Osteoarthritis needs constant reviews and check ups with the doctor, physiotherapist and nutritionist so that their treatment is beneficial and effective for you. Any type of arthritis causes joint damage. Although joint damage cannot be reversed, there are treatments that can help to stop the damage from getting worse. Medicine still does not know the reasons why osteoarthritis progresses and nor does it have effective therapies to stop the progression of this disease. There are research studies still going on the use of Vitamin E, Green Lipped Muscle Extract, Curcumin and its help in stopping the progression of osteoarthritis to other joints as well as stalling the disease.
What Life Style Changes Are Helpful in Osteoarthritis?
Patients often worry about the progressive nature of osteoarthritis but just a few changes in the daily habits and lifestyle of the patient could bring about a good change for them. Here are some simple methods that might help –
- Losing weight – Obesity is one of the main factors for the progression of osteoarthritis. The more stress placed on the already damaged joints the greater the inflammation. Over time this can worsen the joint further, increasing the pain and interfering with a person’s movement. By losing just five to ten percent of your body weight, you will notice the relief and difference in all your symptoms. Weight loss will also involve changes in the diet which will reduce saturated fats, moderate the intake of carbohydrates and avoid excess salt, sugar and alcohol. There are a lot of healthy diet options which your nutritionist can help with according to the condition of your joints and body weight. Certain nutrients are known to help in the condition of osteoarthritis like Omega-3 fatty acids which are rich in healthy fats that help in reducing joint swelling. Good sources for Omega-3 fatty acids is fish oil, nuts and certain plant oil. Vitamin D supplements are also known to help people with osteoarthritis. Vitamin D is also produced naturally in our body when the body is exposed to sunlight good sources for vitamin D is fish, milk, cereal and eggs. GLME is green lipped muscle extract which helps by stopping and stalling the disease from advancing. You should consult a doctor as well as a dietician for help with the exercises and a well balanced diet plan.
- Exercises – Muscles in the legs from thigh joint to the ankle should be strong if they are weak then there are minor chances of developing the disease. There are many types of exercises that could be recommended by your doctor since exercising painful joints can be very difficult, but there are many fitness routines suitable for arthritis patients. These exercises would mainly focus on three things, Range of Motion Exercises which are done daily, Strengthening Exercises performed on alternate days, Endurance Exercises are done for 20 – 30 minutes three times a week. Isometric moves and wall slides, Swimming, Bicyling, Physical Therapy, Rowing, Pilates, Yoga and water exercises also help a lot. You can strengthen certain muscles to help with the painful joints but you should never push yourself excessively. If there is pain while performing certain activities you should stop doing them as you may cause more damage. Have the medicines as directed by your doctor for relief from chronic joint pain. If you have not consulted with any doctor as yet then you need to do that immediately. There are many options in medications like prescription and non-prescription medicines. Before starting any regimen you should always consult your doctor.
- Avoid injuries as far as possible – If you have a major injury in your adolescence or a major injury in adulthood then your chances of developing osteoarthritis at a later stage increases. Avoid over exercising as that to can cause a knee joint injury. It is very important to get immediate medical attention so that you can prevent further damage. Use supportive devices as people with arthritis avoid using walking devices as it makes them feel old and weak. Not realizing that due to the pain they walk less as they feel unsteady on their feet and are afraid to put their whole body weight on the painful joint. Avoiding a supportive device can make your condition worse. These walking devices are different types of canes, crutches and walkers depending on your condition and the stage of osteoarthritis. Consult your doctor about the best option for you.