Osteoarthritis

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis; it is a joint inflammation that results from cartilage degeneration.

Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage absorbs the shock of movement. When cartilage is lost, bones rub together. Over time, this rubbing can permanently damage the joint.

It is often called as wear-and-tear arthritis, as osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time.

Sites of Osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis commonly affects

  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Spine
  • Large weight-bearing joints like hips and knees

What are the causes of Osteoarthritis?

Degeneration of the cartilage results into Osteoarthritis, due to which it causes rubbing of bones and reduction of joint movement.

Few causes of Osteoarthritis are given below;

  • Aging
  • Joint Injury or trauma
  • Muscle weakness
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Inappropriate footwear (causing increased and imbalanced pressure on the knees)
  • Hereditary

Risk Factors:

  • Older age
  • Having family members with OA
  • Obesity
  • Joint injury or repetitive use (overuse) of joints
  • Joint deformity such as unequal leg length, bowlegs or knocked knees
  • Presence of Gout, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis or any other disease that affects bones or joints

What are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Below given is of the list of common symptoms of Osteoarthritis:

  • Pain: Your joint may hurt during or after movement.
  • Tenderness: Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.
  • Stiffness: Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
  • Loss of flexibility: You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
  • Grating sensation: You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
  • Bone spurs: These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint.
  • Swelling: There may be swelling and warmth and creaking of the affected joints.
  • Exercise: Worsens after exercise and from putting weight on the joint
  • Seasonal: It worsens in monsoon
  • Mobility: Limited mobility of the joint

What is the Diagnosis for Osteoarthritis?

Physical examination:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Limitation of movements
  • Grating sensation

Investigation and lab tests:

  • X Ray
  • Blood tests: To rule out any other causes of Joint pain such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Treatment for Osteoarthritis?

Homeopathy offers complete relief from all the symptoms of Osteoarthritis.

The medication can help in controlling pain as well as improving the mobility of the joints.

Most patients notice a reduction in the pain and stiffness after commencing treatment and improved mobility of the joints.

An overall general improvement in the health is also noted by majority of them

OA is a degenerative condition, it may not be possible to reverse the changes that have already occurred at the microscopic level on the joints but it is possible to slow down the further progress of the condition. In advanced cases, palliation is all that can be offered to the patients.

Also it can prevent form complications which can occur in the condition like:

  • Rapid, complete breakdown of cartilage resulting in loose tissue material in the joint (chondrolysis).
  • Bone death (osteonecrosis).
  • Stress fractures (hairline crack in the bone that develops gradually in response to repeated injury or stress).
  • Bleeding inside the joint.
  • Infection in the joint.
  • Deterioration or rupture of the tendons and ligaments around the joint, leading to loss of stability.
  • Pinched nerve (in osteoarthritis of the spine).