Osteoarthritis is a general term for inflammation in the joints, also known as degenerative joint disease. It is a common problem that makes it difficult for us to move, live and work every day.
There are many factors that increase the risk of osteoarthritis, including genetics, obesity, injury, or overuse of certain joints. Let’s join increaseheightblog.com . The APP learns the causes and how to fix this situation!
Overview of arthritis
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a general term for all disorders that affect the structure and functioning of joints. This is a common disease, causing many difficulties in living and working due to pain. The most common signs of arthritis are limited range of motion and pain in the joints.
Other possible symptoms are swelling, heat, redness, and stiffness in the muscles involved in the joint.
How many types of arthritis are there?
There are about 100 types of arthritis, which can be simple arthritis or arthritis that affects other organs.
The two most common types of arthritis are: osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
- It is a degenerative joint condition and the most common type of arthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this is an inflammation. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joints wears down.
- The main injury site of osteoarthritis is articular cartilage – a tissue that covers the ends of bones that plays a role in reducing friction and ensuring that the ends of the bones can easily slide over each other during joint movement.
- Therefore, when inflammation makes joints difficult to move, deformed even the bones deviate from their normal position. The joints most often affected are the joints of the hands, spine, knees, and hips.
- This disease usually appears in middle age, especially from 40 years old and above. However, osteoarthritis can also occur in young people, especially after trauma to the joints.
It can occur in just one or two joints, on one side of the body.
- Age, obesity, trauma, family history, and overuse of certain joints can increase the risk of this condition.
- Common symptoms include: joint pain, morning stiffness, lack of coordination between joints.
- To find out if you have arthritis, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical exam. They may order X-rays and other imaging tests. They may also aspirate an affected joint, taking a sample of fluid from the inside to check for infection.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- This is a disease related to the body’s immune system, the first site of damage in rheumatoid arthritis is the synovial membrane, then messes with other components in the joint.
- The most common subjects with rheumatoid arthritis are women over the age of 40.
- Common symptoms of RA include morning stiffness and joint pain, often in the same joint on both sides of the body. And can cause joint deformity.
- Other symptoms may also develop in other parts of your body including your heart, lungs, eyes, or skin. Sjogren’s syndrome frequently occurs with RA. This condition causes severe dryness of the eyes and mouth.
- Your doctor cannot use any single test to determine if you have RA. To make a diagnosis, they will likely review your medical history, perform a physical exam, and order X-rays or other imaging tests.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
- There are several factors that increase the risk of osteoarthritis, including genetics, obesity, injury or overuse of certain joints.
- People born with joint abnormalities are more prone to osteoarthritis.
- Some people have a genetic defect in one of the genes responsible for making collagen, a major component of cartilage. This causes the cartilage to be defective, leading to faster joint deterioration.
- Abnormal conditions of the spine (such as scoliosis or curvature of the spine) are more likely to have spondylolisthesis
- Obesity increases the risk of osteoarthritis. Maintaining an ideal weight or losing weight can help prevent this condition.
- Injury. For example, athletes with knee-related injuries may be at increased risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. In addition, people who have had a severe back injury may be more susceptible to osteoarthritis of the spine. People with fractures that extend to the edge of a joint are more prone to osteoarthritis in that joint.
- Overuse of certain joints increases the risk of developing the disease. For example, jobs that require repeated bending of the knee increases the risk of knee osteoarthritis.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
- Pain and tenderness in joints, especially with movement
- Pain or stiffness after excessive activity or long periods of inactivity.
- Bone enlargement in the middle and end joints of the fingers (may or may not be painful)
- Osteoarthritis is not associated with fever, weight loss, or anemia (low red blood cell count). If these symptoms are present in someone with osteoarthritis, they are caused by a condition unrelated to the joints.
How is osteoarthritis diagnosed?
Each arthritis has different clinical and laboratory diagnostic criteria.
- Physical examination: ask about symptoms and perform a physical examination to determine joint range of motion, joint deformity, and some tests to identify joint effusion.
- Basic tests: peripheral blood cells, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein (CRP), liver and kidney function tests, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram.
- X-ray of joints: detect changes in the structure of joints.
- Bone scintigraphy: this is a modern method that not only shows changes in the shape of bones and joints, but also detects metabolic disorders. Especially helps in early detection of cancer cases and osteosarcoma.
- Other immunological tests in case of rheumatoid arthritis such as: quantitative rheumatoid factor (RH), anti CCP …
Subjects at high risk for rheumatoid arthritis
- Age: Although arthritis can affect children, the elderly have a higher rate of arthritis.
- Gender: Arthritis affects more women than men.
- Occupation: Heavy labor, sitting for a long time in one position, moving in the wrong position has a higher rate of arthritis.
- Trauma: Injuries to the joint can cause acute arthritis now or increase the risk of arthritis later.
- Being overweight: It increases the pressure on the joints thereby causing arthritis or accelerating the inflammatory process already in the joints.
- Metabolic disorders: Affects the nourishment of joint components and the appearance of abnormal components in the joints.
- Immune system diseases and some genetic disorders can also increase the risk of joint disease.
How is osteoarthritis treated?
- Osteoarthritis is usually treated with a combination of treatments, including exercise, weight loss if needed, medication, physical therapy with muscle-strengthening exercises, and hot and cold compresses to the joints. pain, removal of joint fluid, injections into the joint, and the use of assistive devices such as crutches or canes.
- Surgery can be helpful for pain relief when other treatment options have not worked.
- The form of treatment will depend on several factors, including age, activity and occupation, overall health, medical history, location of osteoarthritis, and severity of the condition.
How do weight and exercise affect bones and joints?
- Staying at the recommended weight helps prevent osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, and spine, reduces stress on these weight-bearing joints, and relieves pain in already affected joints.
- When you have osteoarthritis, losing weight can also reduce stress and pain in your knees.
- Exercise is important for improving joint movement and strengthening the muscles that surround joints. Gentle exercises like swimming or walking on flat surfaces should be done as they put less strain on the joints.
- Avoid activities that increase joint pain, such as jogging or high-impact aerobics. Exercises to strengthen muscles help reduce pain for patients with osteoarthritis, especially knee osteoarthritis.
Exercise can be difficult with painful joints. But staying active can reduce pain in the long run, and even strengthen muscles to prevent further joint damage. The Arthritis Foundation says exercise is “the most effective treatment for reducing pain and improving movement in osteoarthritis.”
Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise, especially if you haven’t been active before. The Arthritis Foundation recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. You can also start with shorter periods of exercise and add more time as you get stronger.
For example, you can start walking or doing yoga for 10 minutes and gradually increase the pace and duration of your walk. If you’re new to exercise, you may experience mild pain after your workout. This means you need to take a day or two off and then resume your workout regimen. Don’t give up exercise altogether.
Which lifestyle and diet helps to improve osteoarthritis?
While no specific diet has been shown to prevent osteoarthritis, certain nutrients have been linked to a reduced risk of the disease or its severity. These include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids these are healthy fats that reduce arthritis, while unhealthy fats can increase it. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish oil and certain vegetable/seed oils, including walnuts, canola, soybeans, flaxseeds/flaxseeds, and olives.
- Vitamin D – A small number of studies have shown that supplemental vitamin D reduces knee pain in people with osteoarthritis. Your body makes most of the vitamin D it needs in response to sunlight. You can get more vitamin D in your diet by eating fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and herring; vitamin D fortified milk and cereals; and eggs.
If your joints are swollen and painful, give them rest. Try to avoid using the inflamed joint for 12 to 24 hours so the swelling goes down. You should also get enough sleep. Fatigue can increase your perception of pain.
Experience in effective pain relief
Apply cold and hot
Both cold and heat can help treat arthritis symptoms. Applying ice to the painful area for 20 minutes helps constrict blood vessels. This reduces fluid in the tissue and reduces swelling and pain. You can repeat the treatment two or three times a day.
Just make sure to wrap any ice packs you use in a t-shirt or towel. Otherwise, the cold can hurt or even damage your skin.
You can do the same treatment in 20 minutes with a hot water bottle or heating pad. Heat opens blood vessels and increases circulation, aiding in the repair of damaged tissue. Heat is also great to help reduce stiffness.
You may feel relief from both cold and heat. Experiment to see what works best for you. However, you should not use it for more than 20 minutes at a time. Then let your body rest.
Epsom salt bath
Epsom salt baths can help relieve systemic pain, especially for joint pain. The magnesium in Epsom salt can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. You can buy Epsom salt from the pharmacy. These tubs are safe enough that you can bathe as often as 30 minutes at a time. Take 2 cups of Epsom salt in a bath of warm water at about 102°F (38°C).
Topical ointments and creams
You can apply it topically as an alternative to over-the-counter (OTC) oral medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These gels and creams may contain aspirin or pain relievers to numb the pain. You can apply them directly to the affected joints. These products may work well for areas close to the surface of the skin, such as your knees.
Another home remedy is capsaicin. Capsaicin is a compound made from hot peppers. Apply it to painful joints three to four times daily.
To avoid accidental eye contact, wash your hands after each use.
Foods that help fight inflammation and reduce joint pain
Green tea – anti-inflammatory drink
Green tea contains polyphenols. These compounds can help reduce inflammation effectively. Research in Arthritis Research and Therapy suggests that green tea enhances cartilage protection.
Due to the risk of liver problems and side effects from concentrated amounts, green tea is best consumed in moderation.
Ginger – pain relief
Taking ginger has also been noted to reduce pain caused by arthritis. According to a 2015 study in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, long-term use of ginger may even reduce the risk of disability related to arthritis. Due to the risk of side effects, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recommends ginger in moderation as a spice rather than as a dietary supplement.
Turmeric (curcumin): Treats inflammation, pain and stiffness
Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric. It is part of the ginger family, but may help arthritis in different ways. This substance can fight inflammatory compounds. It can also help relieve pain and stiffness during an arthritis flare.
If taking turmeric, you may need to add black pepper to activate the herb’s benefits. While turmeric is generally safe, it can cause nausea and may interact with blood thinners.
People with osteoarthritis need to avoid foods such as: alcohol, aspartame (artificial sweetener), salt, saturated and trans fats, sugar, white bread, rice. Keep these foods and substances low.
Ask your doctor for a diet, exercise, and rest plan that’s right for you.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, losing weight can go a long way in reducing joint pain and preventing arthritis. This can also be helpful for people with knee arthritis in the knees and hips, as these joints bear a lot of weight.
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