Osteoarthritis is suffering from painful joints. The ends of two bones are joined with a protective tissue called cartilage. In the condition of osteoarthritis, this cartilage breaks down, causing the bones within the joint to collides together. These arise to creaky joints. People get confused about osteoarthritis with rheumatoid arthritis. They both share similar symptoms, but the former is a degenerative condition whereas the latter is an autoimmune disorder.
Osteoarthritis affects the joints of the hand, fingertips, spine, wrist, neck, back, knee, and hip. Age factor is one of the leading causes of the issue, and it is caused by joint damage. The severity of the problem may cause joint malformation, obesity, decreased range of motion, joint instability, and poor posture. Certain risk factors, such as family history and gender, increase your risk of osteoarthritis. However, it commonly affects females (mainly after menopause) and old age adults. The complications get more intense with age and time. The common symptoms associated are pain, stiffness, tenderness, inflammation, and swelling around the affected area. Easily accessible home remedies could subside the painful condition.
- Exercise: Exercise is one of the best ways for pain relief against osteoarthritis. Regular exercise provides strength to the muscles and bones. It also helps in easy mobility and flexible joints. General free hand exercises, aerobics, stretching is beneficial. All these physical activities burn calories and promote weight loss. But in cases of extreme pain, Medical Practitioners recommend physiotherapy. Physiotherapy focus on the particular affected area for building stronger muscles. Exercise like swimming and riding a stationary exercise bicycle is advantageous. As they don’t put undue stress on already painful joints. Exercise in daily routine keeps an individual active and improves the quality of life.
- Hot or Cold Compress: Hot or cold compress provides a sigh of relief in pain of osteoarthritis. Though it depends, few of the patients get comfort with hot compresses, and a few of them with a cold compress. Hot compress is usually carried with help of hot-water bags or using towels dipped in warm water. Hot compress becomes more effective with the addition of rock-salt to it. Cold compress could be performed with help of ice-packs. It helps to lower the swelling. It increases blood flow and reduces joint stiffness. It lowers inflammation and muscle pain or spasm. As a result, it supports effortless movement.
- Healthy Diet: The complaint of osteoarthritis worsens with age and time. It starts with a deficiency of calcium and vitamins. Insufficient Vitamin D rise the pain. Therefore, a nutrient-rich diet including fruits and green leafy vegetables are recommended. It is proven that Omega-3 fatty acids, found in the fish and fish oil help to subside the pain. Along with these, whole grains, low-fat fish, milk, and dairy products should consume. For the cooking purpose, healthy fats should be used like nuts and avocados, and healthy oils, including olive and canola oil. Hence, one should focus on a healthy and balanced diet rather than on single nutrients.
- Weight Management: Over-weight and obesity are the root cause of many health issues. Osteoarthritis is one of the common health problems in females. Extra weight put strains over the joints of knees, spine, hips, ankles, and feet. The pain increases because of the overpressure of the weight. The weight can be managed by regular physical exercises, low-intensity workouts, aerobics, morning walks, and yogas. Most important, one should keep a check on their diet. Losing weight may help in improving mobility, relief from pain, and preventing future damage of joints.
- Supplementary Medicinal Care: The intensity of pain increases or becomes severe because of various reasons. Now, to control the pain oral analgesics (acetaminophen) is advised. But one should avoid the intake of corticosteroids, as it may cause side effects in the long run. Some other drugs recommended by the clinicians are aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen sodium. Supplements like Glucosamine and SAMe show positive effects. Studies have proven that glucosamine sulfate improves symptoms like pain and function and delay the structural progression of osteoarthritis. It prevents joint space narrowing. Patients of osteoarthritis also turn to treatments such as acupuncture. Massage with oil or some ointments increases the blood flow and ease with the pain.
These are the common and easily accessible procedures, which one should implement. But in cases of severe pain and difficulty in walking, they seek to support. Few devices that support painful joints are splints, braces, and canes. These lessen discomfort and helps in movement. Adequate sleep is also required for the resting of the muscles. Ultimately, if any of the treatment options and remedies don’t show effective results, lastly surgical options are left. Clinicians might suggest a joint resurfacing or replacement procedure. Joint replacements surgeries are promising if by, experienced surgeons.
Future treatment options against Osteoarthritis
The disease itself follows a slow process, therefore, drug development is gradually progressing. Though, one drug named strontium ranelate, effective against bone loss. The function of Strontium is thought it inhibits the activity of cells called osteoclasts, which break down bone. Hence, it is assumed that it could be used for treating knee osteoarthritis as well. Ongoing studies related to the treatment of osteoarthritis is focusing on stem cells. Studies depicted that stem cells into damaged joints might help regenerate healthy tissue. Last, one should stay positive in your life. The feeling is mostly controlled by your brain. So, focus on your strength rather than your weakness.
“Convince yourself every day that you are worthy of a good life. Let go of stress, breathe. Stay positive, all is well.”― Germany Kent