Osteoarthritis – What You Must Know About This Disease

December 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Joseph Ezie Efoghor asked:

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joint capsule and underlying bones, characterized by a slow and steady progression of degeneration and disintegration of the cartilage that covers the end of the bones.

Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis does not show periods of remissions and there are no systemic symptoms. It is less crippling than the rheumatoid arthritis. It affects mainly the knee, hip and spine joints. Its effects is crippling only when the hip joint is involved.

The disease starts as early as the middle 30’s and progresses gradually. It becomes more pronounced in the middle age and old age. It affects more women than men.

i. Joint trauma (repeated)
ii. Aging – Affects quite a number of people who are 50 years and above
iii. Heredity
iv. Obesity – Because of increase weight on the joints
v. Sex – Commoner among women than men. The signs of the disease may become obvious during menopause or the signs become increased during this period if they have previously been there
vi. Poor posture
vii. Excessive use of certain joints

Osteoarthritis is generally a product of aging. The disease progresses slowly and affects mostly the joints of the spine, hip and knee. The cartilage degenerates and becomes soft and wears away. The bone edges become thin and ragged and are no longer able to spring to shape after normal use.

The fibrillar component of the joint break down (though collagen is retained) causing small bone fragments to occasionally break off thereby causing severe pain. The synovial membrane gradually becomes thickened. There is ossification of the fibrous tissue around the joint. There is however no ankylosis of the joint. The changes in the joint cause pain and limitation of movement of the affected joint.

Signs and symptoms
i. Pain in the joint. Particularly affected are the spine, knee, hip joint, etc. Pain is aggravated by exercise.
ii. Stiffness of the joint especially in the mornings
iii. Grating of the joint when moved
iv. Mild swelling due to fluid accumulation in the joint
v. Wasting of the muscle (atrophy)
vi. Limitation of movement may occur
vii. Bony enlargement of the joint may also occur

Laboratory tests are usually normal. But X-ray of the affected joints reveals:
i. Hardening of the joint (sclerosis)
ii. Cartilage loss
iii. New bone formation

Osteoarthritis has no cure but a lot could be done to reduce the pain being experienced by the patient.
i. Weight reduction: Obese patient should be encouraged to lose excess weight so as to reduce the strain on the joints.
ii. Patient should maintain good posture
iii. Apply heat to affected joints
iv. Surgery may be advocated to fix the joint in permanent position (Arthrodesis).

Drug therapy
Drug therapy is similar to that of Rheumatoid arthritis.
Nursing management
Nursing management is the same as for Rheumatoid arthritis.

Natural Osteoarthritis Treatment

December 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Richard Bonney asked:

Osteoarthritis is often confused with Rheumatoid arthritis, but the two disorders have different causes and progressions. Osteoarthritis may affect only a single joint and can be triggered by localized wear and tear resulting in painful inflammation. According to the NIAMS it is estimated that nearly 1 out of 8 Americans age 25 and older suffer from osteoarthritis, but osteoarthritis treatment is most common among adults over 65 years old.

Risk Factors of Osteoarthritis:

o Excessive weight or obesity
o Injury
o Certain careers
o Hormones
o Genetic factors
o Weak thigh muscles
o Congenital or developmental deformities
o Race
o Other diseases which change cartilage structure

Osteoarthritis Inflammation: Osteoarthritis inflammation is characterized by swelling, pain, localized heat, and redness. Inflammation is a process in which the body’s white blood cells and chemicals help protect us from infection and foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. In some cases inflammation is triggered by a non infectious event like osteoarthritis and aims at the body’s tissue, causing significant damage.

Natural Osteoarthritis Treatment: The lead researcher of a recent study of Pycnogenol’s natural beneficial effects for osteoarthritis treatment, Dr. Petra Hogger of the University of Wurzburg in Germany suggests that Pycnogenol supplementation inhibits the enzymes involved in the development of pain associated with inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis. Pycnogenol is an extract from the bark of the French maritime pine, consisting of phenolic acids, catechin, taxifolin and procyanidins.

Natural Osteoarthritis Treatment Studies Show: Pycnogenol treatment has shown to inhibit accumulation of inflammatory cells, and reduce the output of inflammatory substances caused by osteoarthritis (Bayeta and Lau, 2001). Natural osteoarthritis treatment with Pycnogenol has also shown to help normalize capillary permeability to prevent the leakage of fluid that causes edema (swelling), and helps by neutralizing free radicals that promote swelling and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis (Blazso et al., 1994, 1995).

Best Source for Pycnogenol: A natural supplement Isotonix OPC-3 (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins) is an isotonic-capable food supplement that is made from a combination of bilberry, grape seed, red wine, pine bark extracts and citrus extract bioflavonoids, all found to be potent antioxidants. Isotonix OPC-3 contains the only isotonic form of Pycnogenol in the world.

Top 5 Tips To Prevent Osteoarthritis

December 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Raymond Geok Seng Lee asked:

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis results in damage due to wear and tear on the cartilage of your bones. Healthy cartilage is smooth which allows your joints to move freely and tough, to act as a shock absorber between your bones. But in osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down in slow stages:

1. It becomes soft, frayed, and less elastic.

2. Large sections wear away completely, letting the ends of bones rub together.

3. As a result, your bone ends thicken, and the joints may change shape, grow spurs (bony growths), and develop fluid-filled cysts.

No one knows for sure what causes osteoarthritis or even if it is actually age-related, but heredity, obesity, injury, and overuse all appear to play roles in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it is mostly found in the knees, spine, fingers, big toes, and hips. Men are especially likely to suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip.

Here are the helpful tips to lower your risk of developing osteoarthritis:

1. Exercise

It can be your best tool against osteoarthritis because exercise strengthens your muscles and works to keep your joints flexible. Exercise can also help you to maintain a healthy weight (or lose weight if necessary). Obesity is often considered a factor in some types of arthritis. However, be sensible: Don’t overdo high-impact aerobics such as running. And if a particular joint (for example, those in your knees, ankles, and feet) starts to suffer from overuse, change your exercise regimen. Try low-impact exercises such as walking and swimming and stretching exercises to loosen your joints, increase your range of motion, strengthen your muscles, and more important, relieve arthritis pain.

2. Protect your knees against injury during sports, starting in your teens

Wear protective gear such as knee and elbow pads when playing contact sports or other, riskier sports such as in-line skating.

3. Sit straight and don’t slump

Your mother was right! Good posture, whether sitting or standing, can help reduce the pressure on the joints, especially those in your spine.

4. Learn to perform your job without stressing your joints

If your job requires repetitive movement (such as typing) or movement that stresses your joints, be sure to vary your activities and working position as much as possible.

5. Safety First

Some safety concerns that may help to prevent osteoarthritis in your daily life, for example, wear a seat belt to prevent injury to your knees (and other body parts) in case of a car accident.

Traumatic Osteoarthritis

December 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Kristy Annely asked:

Traumatic osteoarthritis or post-traumatic osteoarthritis as it is better known is mainly caused due to an injury of the joints, followed by a number of physiological and mechanical changes. A patient may develop arthritis in a joint which may have been previously injured. The development of arthritis in that joint though may or may not be related to the injury. The progressive degeneration of the joint after an injury along with the genetic or other natural causes of bone degeneration worsen the condition as the patient grows in age. It is extremely important for the treatment, to know whether or not the condition is a direct consequence of the injury.

There are various factors which can lead to conclude whether or not the patient?s condition is a case of traumatic arthritis. If it is noted that other joints are also suffering from similar symptoms as the traumatized joint then the condition is definitely not one of traumatic osteoarthritis. One must also try to recall whether or not the joint was absolutely normal even before the injury and whether or not any evidence of structural damage was found only within a few days of the injury. Many a times, a closer investigation into the history of the injury also reveals that it was not that bad enough to have caused an internal joint condition like arthritis.

However, if the injury may have caused a dislocation of the bone, a fracture, a torn ligament or anything as serious then it may have led to the present condition of arthritis which can easily be classified as traumatic arthritis. Also, if one realizes that only the previously injured joint is affected then too it is a case of traumatic arthritis. An MRI scan can sufficiently establish the condition.

The disease becomes evident only 2 to 5 years after the injury. However, certain changes which are symptomatic of an osteoarthritic condition maybe visible immediately after the injury.

Osteoarthritis – Three Things You Should Know

December 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Jack Russel asked:

It is a predator that knows no boundaries. Young, old, black, white, male and female – this is an equal-opportunity predator that can render its victims immobile.

1. Who is this culprit?


Osteoarthritis goes by many names – degenerative joint disease, wear-and-tear-arthritis among them – but the facts remain. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and affects an estimated 20 million Americans. Unlike other forms of arthritis, which are genetic, osteoarthritis can be linked to a number of causes – weight, age and injury among them. As with other forms of arthritis, there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, so recognizing the signs and symptoms of the disease early can be quite helpful in managing pain.

First, a little background. As its other names imply, osteoarthritis is inflammation caused by abnormal wear of the cartilage cushion in the joints. In a joint affected by osteoarthritis, this wear and tear leads to the degeneration of cartilage and the body is unable to replenish its own supply of this most precious resource. Inflammation causes mild to severe pain and, in some cases, degeneration is so severe that doctors will recommend replacement of the joint.

So what should you know about osteoarthritis? Here are three things to get you started.

2. Listen to your body.

Pain, particularly in the weight-bearing joints of the lower body, is a good indicator of osteoarthritis. Although osteoarthritis can affect any joint, particularly after traumatic injury or infection, most cases of osteoarthritis occur in the weight-bearing joints of the knees, hips, spine and ankles. Often, obesity or even moderately overweight can cause osteoarthritis pain to flare up. Losing a few pounds can help decrease pain, as can rest and judicious use of affected joints. For example, recurring pain in the knees is a good indicator that you might want to stop your rigorous running regimen, if only for a few weeks.

3. Early diagnosis is important for successful long-term pain management.

Although not all cases of osteoarthritis are visible on x-ray, your doctor – particularly if he or she is an internist or rheumatologist – can diagnose osteoarthritis with little problem. Medical history, physical examination and blood tests, along with MRI and x-ray offer reliable avenues for accurate diagnoses.

There is hope for osteoarthritis sufferers.

Osteoarthritis is degenerative – that means that the disease will get worse over time. The most commonly prescribed medications treat the pain by decreasing joint inflammation temporarily. Unfortunately, these medications – known as NSAIDs – also come with a host of dangerous and, in some cases deadly, side effects.

Non-prescription NSAIDs are also available over the counter – in the form of pills, potions and lotions – but the relief is short lived. Like their prescription counterparts, these chemically based medications only treat the symptoms. They mask the pain for a few hours and then the patient must take more. Over time, the body builds up a certain resistance and pain relief decreases.

There is hope, however, in the form of a natural treatment with no side effects. A treatment that treats more than the symptoms – it gets to the root of the problem by replenishing damaged cartilage in the arthritic joint.

Supplementation with all-natural glucosamine and chondroitin, the building blocks of healthy cartilage, has been shown to actually improve the condition of arthritic joints, without dangerous side effects. Pain relief and healing – a powerful combination.

Osteoarthritis of The Back

December 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Jude Cresswell asked:

Back pain is a very common condition. 4 out of 5 people experience back pain at some stage of their lives. Arthritis of the spine is one of the causes of back pain. It is important to know the symptoms of back arthritis because the earlier it is diagnosed, the better it can be treated to prevent disability in future.

The signs & symptoms of spinal arthritis include:
Back pain that comes and goes
Morning stiffness of the spine that decreases with activity
Pain or stiffness in the neck
Weakness or numbness of limbs
Difficulty in walking or bending

The arthritis affecting the spine is usually of the degenerative type known as osteoarthritis. In this type of arthritis the cartilage covering the joints wears away until the joint surfaces are exposed, leaving them susceptible to erosion if untreated. Pain occurs due to friction produced when the exposed joint surfaces rub together on movement.

If you have activity related back pain relieved by rest it is likely that you have arthritis. More concerning symptoms are those of night pain, numbness or burning pain.

The tests done to diagnose and assess severity are:
CAT scan
Bone scan

If you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the back there are a number of treatment options both with and without involving medication.

NSAIDs like ibuprofen can be taken for temporarily pain relief. Aspirin and acetaminophen can also give relief from pain. As these medications provide only temporary relief from pain and are not without side effects they should only be used when the pain becomes severe and impairs your mobility. Always consult your doctor before starting any medication.

The following life style modifications can help people with back arthritis tremendously:

General exercises and stretches to help increase the flexibility and stability of your back.

Wearing proper shoes to minimize strain on the back. High heeled shoes should be avoided. Shoes that provide proper arch support are recommended for people with spinal osteoarthritis.

If you are over weight you are putting additional stress on the spine and back.
Find a good mattress for yourself that will support the muscles and joints of your back while you rest and sleep.

When in a sitting position whether in a car or at your desk choose a seat that will provide proper lumbar pressure to your back. You can achieve this my either changing your seat or inserting a lumbar cushion.

Ice & hot packs can be used to reduced pain and numbness associated with degenerative arthritis and are contraindicated in inflammatory arthritis.

Electric stimulation devices, either professional or for home use relieve pain by the passage of microcurrents through the muscles.

Mechanical massage devices or manual massage disperses lactic acid, increases circulation, can be very effective for ‘knotted up’ muscles.

Vitamin, mineral & diet supplementation with Vitamin D, vitamin C, ascorbic acid, glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin sulphate may help reduce pain.

People with arthritis continue to live active and productive lives. Educating yourself about your condition and managing your symptoms are the keys to not letting arthritis slow you down.

Osteoarthritis Diet

December 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Kristy Annely asked:

Diet is an important ingredient in maintaining a perfect physique and disease proof body. With 70% Americans being victims of obesity, the first step in treating any disease is weight reduction. Diet control programs are based on individual preferences as certain people are allergic to certain food items or tend to put on fat easily.

Begin by checking different food items such as dairy products, meats, and green vegetables in quantity, quality, and portions to have an idea of what is best suited for your condition and body type. Sometimes Osteoarthritis patients are allergic to fish or other meat products and need substitutes. A vegetarian diet that includes green vegetables, carrots, avocado, seaweeds, barley and wheat, grass products, pecans, soy products, sprouts, brown rice, millet or oats is equally effective. Certain food items and drinks such as alcohol, coffee, sugar, saturated fat, margarine, excess salt, spinach, cranberries, plums and nuts need to be avoided.

The ideal diet for osteoarthritis patients is food rich in Vitamin E found in beef, corn, egg yolks, nuts wheat germ and sunflower oil. This helps minimize tissue damage due to aging, smoking or stress. Omega-3 fatty acids if consumed regularly help reduce inflammation and best source for this is oily fish variety. Vitamin C found in citrus fruits, melons, kiwi fruit, pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries needs to be included in diet.

Good sources of Silicon that calcifies and strengthen bones are wholegrain cereals, oats, barley, and root vegetables. Copper and Zinc available through food sources such as oysters, crab, almonds, beans, prunes, lamb, pork, mushrooms, whole grains, beef, liver, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds help in reducing inflammation of the cartilage of joints. Diary products, preservatives, and acidic fruits should be left alone. The idea is to maintain a healthy body weight and successfully control Osteoarthritis.

Important Characteristics of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

December 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Janet Martin asked:

At mere mention of arthritis, the description that will enter most people’s minds will most probably be painful joints. In actuality, arthritis is a broad medical term that is utilized to refer to over a hundred conditions that are associated to joint aches and pain. The most common and popular types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

According to statistics, there are over 20 million people who are suffering from osteoarthritis in the United States. Meanwhile, only about 2 million have rheumatoid arthritis. However, since the symptoms of these two conditions have lots of similarities, many are actually misdiagnosing their joint problems. Even if the suggested treatments are almost the same for the two conditions, it is still advisable that you determine which type of arthritis you are really suffering from before you take any medications or undergo alternative medicine treatment.

To give you a preview of these two joint woes, read the descriptions below.


1. Basically, osteoarthritis is brought about by the wear and tear of a joint. Injuries and the aging process are the most common culprits to the development of this problem.

2. The usual symptoms of this condition include pain and stiffness of the joint.

3. Sometimes you will also see that the problematic joint is enlarged or is swelling.

4. In osteoarthritis, the stiffness or difficulty to move your knees or affected joints gets worse as the day progresses.

5. The people who usually get this condition are older people and even athletes because of the wearing down of joints due to excessive use.

6. Generally, osteoarthritis triggers pain in the larger joints, such as the knees and the hips.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

1. Basically, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The problem with the joints is not due to excessive usage or wear and tear. The inflammation and damage to the joints and surrounding tissues are because of the misguided attack of the immune system of healthy tissues.

2. Aside from pain, tenderness and redness of the joints, other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include limited range of movement and extended morning stiffness. In some people, however, weight loss, fatigue, anemia, and even fever are also apparent.

3. Since this problem is caused by the immune system, anyone can get rheumatoid arthritis, even young people. However, it usually begins at middle age and becomes so much worse as the patient ages.

4. Stiffness and pain of the joints commonly last for about 30 minutes after a long period of inactivity or rest, particularly in the morning.

5. In rheumatoid arthritis, symmetrical swelling is apparent. This simply means that both your elbows, hands and other extremities will swell and be affected by this problem.

6. In general, the joints affected by this condition are the ones that are closest to the base of parts like your fingers or hands. In fact, rheumatoid arthritis usually attacks smaller joints, particularly the ankles and the hands.

7. Early detection is imperative in this condition because in just 24 months, rheumatoid arthritis can already cause serious damage to the joints.

If you are suffering from either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, popping a pain medication may not be the only solution to reduce the tenderness and aches. Improving your diet, boosting your immune system and exercising regularly are all needed for you to be able to cope with your condition and prevent your joints from being damaged further. Moreover, you might need to take natural supplements to help protect your joints. However, it would be wise to seek doctor’s advice before you take anything.

To help ease the arthritic pain, tenderness and stiffness safely and effectively, you may want to try Flexcerin.

Osteo Arthritis – It’s Important to Avoid Aggravating Foods

December 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Alan Rouse asked:

There are many causes of osteo arthritis and climate and diet are among them. We can’t all live in a warm, Mediterranean climate, which helps to prevent our joints becoming cold and stiff. But we can all watch what we eat and drink as many of us are aggravating our condition with toxic products.

Three main types of food aggravate arthritis:

Dairy products
Various acidic foods and drinks
Wheat products

Dairy products, like milk, butter and cheese are hard for the human body to digest. Cows have two stomachs and the milk meant for their calves grows big bones and small brains. It’s not strictly for humans, especially if your body can’t copy with it.

One lecturer who talked about arthritis showed her audience her hands and knuckles, which were completely flexible. She drank a glass of milk and within 20 minutes her knuckles and joints had swollen and she was unable to make a fist. She was allergic to cows milk.

Dairy products leave fat deposits in the body, upset the stomach and clog up circulation. They also encourage the development of catarrh in children, which can lead to sinus and adenoid problems.

As a replacement you might try other milks and cheese, from goat’s milk, sheep’s milk or soya. They are much better for the arthritic, as well, it might be said, for people with allergy problems, like asthma.

Acid Foods, like rhubarb and citrus, aggravate the joints. Certain sharp fruits, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, are not good for the joints. Also carbonated fizzy drinks, alcohol and spicy foods and flavourings can cause acid to form in the stomach, and this goes into the joints.

Many natural practitioners recommend that the arthritic should have no fruit at all and this is true in many cases. People with extreme arthritis should follow this regime. Many however can do well by eating more gentle non-acid fruit, like grapes, cherries, apples, pears and banana.

You should see how you get on. If your arthritis doesn’t improve then cut out fruit altogether.

The third thing, Wheat, has become a staple of Western diet but again it is hard to digest. With many people it causes bloating and indigestion, which again puts acid into the blood and then the joints.

An experiment that gave farm animals a choice of different grains to eat found that they preferred other grains, like oats, rye, barley and corn to wheat, and only ate wheat if there was nothing else.

We can learn a lesson from that and should do the same. It is advisable to cut down on bread altogether, perhaps just having it once a day if necessary. The problems with wheat accumulate, the more you have it.

If you feel you need some bread you should consider switching to having a light rye bread, oat-based cereal for breakfast and cutting down on wheat-based sandwiches and wheat pasta.

Meat products, like beef, pork and lamb, are rather acidic and cause some of the graunching in shoulders and other joints. Ideally cut these out of your diet and just have a little free-range chicken and wild fish. Or alternatively have more vegetarian meals and just have meat once or twice a week.

You will feel better, will be less bloated and the joints will improve.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms, Natural Treatments and Remedies

December 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Ryan Mutt asked:

Osteoarthritis is the commonest form of arthritis mainly seen in old aged people. This article mainly emphasizes on the major symptoms and natural treatments for osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

1. Pain in the form of sharp ache or burning sensation
2. Inflexibility or stiffness of joint
3. Swelling
4. Crepitus or cracking noise while moving the affected joint.
5. Muscle spasm
6. Tendon contraction
7. The affected joint may appear larger than usual.
8. Tenderness at joints
9. Joint effusion due to accumulation of excess fluids within an affected joint.
10. Hard bony enlargements in smaller joints due to osteoarthritis.

Natural Treatments of Osteoarthritis

Medications like Acetaminophen, nonsteroidal pain reducing drugs like aspirin, naproxen, ketoprofen, and ibuprofen are usually recommended for treating osteoarthritis. Glucosamine sulfate supplements are also being prescribed these days. Such supplements increase production of cartilage and have anti-inflammatory properties. If symptoms become too debilitating, one can also opt for joint replacement surgery. However apart from medication and surgery, it is also possible to manage osteoarthritis symptoms by changing life style and diet. Pain management can be done through several home based remedies. Here are some ways to tackle osteoarthritis naturally.

1. Regular exercise, yoga and breathing exercises are very necessary for osteoarthritis patients. Exercise not only reduces joint stiffness, but also strengthens muscles and promotes the growth of cartilages. Range of motion exercises and aerobics should be done by osteoarthritis patients. Breathing exercises relax mind and relieve stress. But high impact sports are to be shunned, for they will only cause further wearing out of damaged joints.

2. Massage therapy is very helpful to treat arthritis. Massaging should be done through smooth strokes and kneading. Massaging reduces muscle spasm and stiffness, improves blood circulation, and eliminates wastes like lactic acid from the joints. Rumatone Gold massage oil, Castor oil, olive oil, mustard oil or hot vinegar may be used for massaging ailing joints.

3. Sea bathing is effective for painful joints. The iodine rich sea water restores and regenerates damaged tissues.

4. Diet should be nutritious and should include antioxidants, Vitamin C, D and E, minerals like Calcium, omega3 fatty acids. Such a diet would keep bones strong and healthy. Thus oily fishes like tuna, salmons, herring, sardines, and mackerel are very useful for osteoarthritis patients. Patients should avoid consuming food items of the nightshade group such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Red meat is to be strictly avoided. Also orange juice should be avoided, for it acts as a stimulant for osteoarthritis pain. Food cooked in flaxseed oil is very helpful for osteoarthritis patients.

5. Herbal tea like that of alfalfa, ginger can relieve patients from swollen and painful joints.

6. The patient should keep the body weight in check by means of exercise and dieting.

7. Hot compress and warm wax application on the affected area may relieve pain.

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