Osteoarthritis (also known as Degenerative Joint Disease) causes inflammation and also the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the joints.
- It’s also known as Degenerative Arthritis, since it gradually over a long period of time causes the cartilage that protects the joints to wear away, leading to pain and stiffness due to the direct rubbing together of bones.
- It’s a leading cause of disability. OA can occur in the hip, knees, hands, feet and spine, the first three being the most frequent ones. Worldwide, an estimated 300 million people have osteoarthritis. It is the main cause of permanent disability.
- As cartilage wears down, the bones within the joint rub together causing pain, stiffness, and difficulty in movement. The most affected parts are those that get heavy use, such as hips, knees, hands & spine.
- It occurs often in older people due to reduction in the amount of cartilage tissue lost through wear and tear throughout life.
Osteoarthritis (OA) – Symptoms & Signs
- Pain and stiffness in affected joints.
- If your inactive for long, joints become stiff.
- Area around joint becomes tender and warm
- Joints become less flexible.
- Bone spurs. May form around the affected joint.
- Swelling. Caused by inflammation of tissue around the joint.
- Difficulty in movement of joints affected
- Crackling sound in the joint
Osteoarthritis – Causes
- Osteoarthritis is caused by joint damage which occurs over time, that is why it is common in older people due to wear and tear in joints.
- Injuries like: dislocated joints, ligament injury
- Poor posture
- Risk factors like family history increase risk
Osteoarthritis – Diet
- Maintaining a healthy diet reduces excess weight on the knees, especially for those suffering with OA of the knees.
- Eating fruits rich in Vitamin C is important for cartilage development. Lack of Vitamin C weakens cartilage and increases OA symptoms. eg. Oranges, Kiwi fruit….etc
- Beta carotene is an antioxidant that destroys free radicals, to prevent excessive damage to the joints. Eat Carrots, Tomatoes, Spinach….etc
- Omega-3 fatty acids are good for people with OA & other inflammatory disorders. Omega-3 works to decrease inflammation in the body. Best sources are sardines, salmon and Flaxseed Oil….etc
- Bioflavonoids such as quercetin are forms of antioxidants. Good sources of quercetin include: onions, broccoli etc…
- Some spices have anti-inflammatory effects too. eg. Ginger and Turmeric.
Osteoarthritis – Spine, Knee & Hip
Osteoarthritis of the Spine:
- Is the breakdown of the cartilage of the joints and discs in the neck and lower back.
- OA of the spine affects the facet joints, the cartilage between the bones that make up the spine.
- The cartilage lining the facet joints (vertebral joints) wears out, allowing the bones to rub together. Cartilage coating the facet joints slowly wears away as you grow.
- Facet joints are the connections between the bones of the spine.
Osteoarthritis of the knee (OA Knee)
- Women are often likely to have osteoarthritis than men.
- Knee OA affects the bones, the cartilage, and the synovium in the knee joint.
- Cartilage is a slippery tissue that acts as a cushion between the bones.
- Synovium is soft, it lines the joints. and produces the synovial fluid, for lubrication
- When these two break down, the bones of the knee joint have no more protection and thus bone damage occurs.
- OA of the knee causes pain and stiffness. It is recommended that overweight women with knee osteoarthritis must reduce their body weight.
Osteoarthritis Hip (Degenerative Arthritis of the Hip)
- OA is a degenerative type of arthritis that occurs mainly in individuals of 50 years of age and above, though it may occur in younger ones also. In Osteoarthritis Hip, cartilage in the hip joint gradually wears away over along period of time, resulting in pain and stiffness in the Hip.
- Osteoarthritis occurs in any joint, but it commonly affects the weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips.
- OA of the Hip is a degenerative condition that causes pain and stiffness as cartilage in the hip joint wears away.
Osteoarthritis – Best Treatment Using Natural Home Remedies for Osteoarthritis
- Losing excess weight reduces the stress on the knee and hip joints
- Helps to strengthen muscles around joints; try walking
- Both heat and cold can reduce pain and swelling. Heat relaxes muscles and eases pain. Cold decreases muscle attacks.
- Assistive devices. A cane takes weight off your knee or hip as you walk.
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