Ways to Manage Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA), is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion.

There is a common misconception that osteoarthritis is a part of aging and there’s nothing you can do when recent studies show a common surgery is useless for osteoarthritis of the knee. In fact, there’s a lot you can do to prevent or improve this condition.

Osteoarthritis used to be thought as a result entirely from wear and tear on joints, not a disorder in which the immune system attacks joints.

Now osteoarthritis is considered as a more complex inflammatory disorder. All the details causing the disease have not been fully known yet. But it is sure that the cartilage surrounding joints breaks down over time, which makes bones rub together and causes stiffness, pain and loss of movement.

Apart from aging, there are some other risks of osteoarthritis which people can changed to avoid or treat the disease.

The following ways are to help you manage osteoarthritis actively:

Keep fit: Aging and obesity are the most well-recognized risk factors for osteoarthritis. While you can not change your age, you can change your weight. Of the 86 million people aged 50 to 84 in the U.S., about 40% have osteoarthritis of the knee, are obese, or are obese and have knee osteoarthritis. The more you weigh, the higher your risk is. If you gain one pound, your knees must bear more 4 pounds of stress when you walk. Loosing weight can help you when you have pain and stiffness in joints.

Do exercise: You think you have joint paint, so you can not exercise. You’re wrong. In contrast, light exercise reduces pain and stiffness and increase function. See a physical therapist. People do the assigned home exercises do get better and it’s incredibly less expensive” than surgery.

Avoid exposure of lead: Lead might influence the development of osteoarthritis. About 95% of lead in the body is stored in bone but can be released into the bloodstream when bone turnover is increased. That makes the osteoarthritis more severe.

Take medications: Anti-inflammatories, including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and aspirin (Bayer), as well as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help. Narcotic medications (Codeine, Vicodin, Percocet, etc.) can sometimes be prescribed, but should be done so very judiciously due to side-effects and abuse potential.

Try supplements: Two very popular supplements – glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate – provide significant pain relief. Natural products and dietary supplements when used properly can improve health and well-being significantly.

Don’t rule out surgery: Sometimes surgeries including arthroscopic surgeries,  bone realignments and knee replacement surgeries can still help patients who have certain injuries in addition to arthritis when all else fail.


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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