What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is an articular disease that causes cartilage degeneration. It is the most common joint disease.
The cartilage is formed of an elastic and resistant structure mainly composed of collagen, which is naturally renewed. It covers the bony ends of the joint and serves as a shock absorber.
When one has osteoarthritis, the functioning of the joints is affected because the cartilage is renewed less than it is destroyed. The cartilage wears out, progressively thins and in some people it can even disintegrate. When the bones rub against each other, the fluidity of the movement is hampered and the pain appears.
The weakening of the cartilage can cause the detachment of cartilage fragments in the joint and cause inflammation. Bone growths may form and joints may become deformed resulting in inflammation and severe pain. Pain and inflammation can affect the bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles because they are related to the osteoarthritic joint.
Even if osteoarthritis cannot be cured, it can be curbed and the daily pain it causes can be reduced.
Which joints are affected by osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint: the knee, hip, fingers, thumbs, dorsal or cervical vertebrae, elbows, wrists, shoulders, ankles, feet and big toes.
How to recognize the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
The main symptom of osteoarthritis is pain. The intensity of the pain varies according to the threshold of sensitivity to pain and not necessarily according to the degree of impairment. Intense pain can be felt for minimal damage and vice versa.
The pain may be of inflammatory or mechanical origin. Inflammatory signs are swelling, heat, redness and, in the morning when awake, a prolonged feeling of stiffness in the affected joint. Mechanical pain occurs when the joint has to make an effort. It is triggered and increased by the activity of the joint and it decreases and diminishes at rest.
It is important to note that some people with osteoarthritis do not experience any symptoms. Only the X-ray during a doctor’s examination can confirm the condition.
What type of pain can you feel?
The pain experienced may be described as intense, sharp, throbbing, dull, deep, radiating, acute, penetrating, tenacious, harassing, exhausting, generalized and / or superficial. It can also be felt as a burning sensation, sluggishness, numbness, tingling, pinching, cramping, stabbing and even nausea-like pain.
Pain may occur suddenly, gradually, intermittently or continuously.
What are the factors that can trigger or aggravate pain?
Temperature, fatigue, certain foods, physical exertion, repetitive motion, excessive exercise or staying too long in the same position can trigger or aggravate the pain.
How can I get pain relief?
Some factors such as rest, stretching, hot temperature, exercise, weight loss, heat therapy (application of cold or heat), standing or lying down and over the counter natural or synthetic painkillers and prescription medication can help relieve pain.
What are the possible causes and risk factors of osteoarthritis?
In many cases, the cause of osteoarthritis is not known. For some, the main cause is due to an earlier injury and is sometimes a consequence of an existing disease such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.
Normal use of the joints does not cause osteoarthritis. On the other hand, excessive use either by intense sport or repetitive work requiring the effort of the joints often leads to osteoarthritis.
Obesity also plays an important role in the development of osteoarthritis, because it increases the pressure on the joints and worsens its evolution.
Poor nutrition promotes oxidation, hence inflammation, and can slow or increase the normal production of cells that help maintain healthy joints.
A sedentary lifestyle and reduced movement can aggravate osteoarthritis, as immobility promotes joint stiffness and helps to reduce muscle tone and strength.
Osteoarthritis can also be hereditary, but that does not mean that a member of an osteoarthritis family will automatically develop osteoarthritis.
Morphological abnormalities of birth can lead to osteoarthritis, as the joint does not function normally.
The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age, but it is not a normal mechanism of aging and is not inevitable.
Choose a natural or prescription treatment?
All treatments for osteoarthritis aim to relieve pain, strengthen the tissues supporting the joint, delay or stop its evolution, improve the functionality of the joint and limit the risk of inflammatory attacks.
The recommended first-line treatment should be the one that you can apply yourself. The actions that you can do yourself such as exercise, weight loss, thermotherapy, massage, muscle relaxation, relaxation, strengthening the tissues surrounding the joint are essential, beneficial and often more effective we do not believe it. In addition, they will help to control the pain and progression of the disease safely.
A natural treatment certainly offers more benefits than a drug treatment. Natural treatments are well tolerated, have few contraindications, and have little or no side effects and help reduce the need for anti-inflammatory drugs.
Pain relievers can fight pain quickly and help manage mechanical pain. There are natural and synthetic sources sold without a prescription.
When you do not apply basic procedures to improve or control your condition, you often have to go to an upper level of painkillers and prescription anti-inflammatories. This is where the side effects are likely to appear and a vicious cycle begins. Over time, their effects on pain diminish and can lead to nausea, dizziness, heart problems, risk of hemorrhage and liver damage. This decrease in effects increases the vicious cycle linked to the rate of cortisol that makes the pain return, especially with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
To master your illness, it is important to participate actively. By taking the time to do the things that will really help you, you reduce the possibility of experiencing serious side effects and increase your chances of getting the best results possible.