This article on osteoarthritis is for information only. There are many causes of joint inflammation and you should consult with your physician for diagnosis and treatment.
Osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease or is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs over time from wear and tear on the cartilage (cushion) of the joints. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in your body, though it most commonly affects joints in your hands, hips, knees and spine. Osteoarthritis typically affects just one joint, though in some cases, such as with finger arthritis, several joints can be affected.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis but osteoarthritis treatments can relieve pain and help you remain active. Taking steps to actively manage your osteoarthritis may help you gain control over your osteoarthritis pain
According to the Center for Disease control osteoarthritis affects 13.9% of adults aged 25 and older and 33.6% (12.4 million) of those 65 and older. An estimated 26.9 million United States adults in 2005 up from 21 million in 1990 (believed to be conservative estimate).
Osteoarthritis symptoms most commonly affect the hands, hips, knees and spine. Unless you've been injured or placed unusual stress on a joint, it's uncommon for osteoarthritis symptoms to affect your jaw, shoulder, elbows, wrists or ankles.
It isn't clear what causes osteoarthritis in most cases. Researchers suspect that it's a combination of factors, including being overweight, the aging process, joint injury or stress, heredity, and muscle weakness
Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
– Pain in a joint during or after use, or after a period of inactivity
– Tenderness in the joint when you apply light pressure
– Stiffness in a joint, that may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity
– Loss of flexibility may make it difficult to use the joint
– Grating sensation when you use the joint
– Bone spurs, which appear as hard lumps, may form around the affected joint
– Swelling in some cases
Regan and colleagues in the 2008 Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage showed us that joint fluid from patients with osteoarthritis was characterized by significantly decreased superoxide dismutase levels and significant decreases in glutathione compared to the reference group of knee joints with pain or sub acute injury but macroscopically intact cartilage.
Afonso and colleagues in the 2007 Journal of Joint Bone Spine discussed the role of superoxide dismutase in preventing the formation of aggressive free radicals that play a role in joint inflammation.
Kalpakcioglu and colleagues in the 2008 Journal of Clinical Rheumatology reviewed the interaction of antioxidants against free radicals in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. There was evidence that antioxidants: glutathione reductase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and glucose-6-phopshate destroy these free radicals.
More studies are available online; search "glutathione and osteoarthritis" in PubMed. Traditional treatment involves use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and Tylenol to relieve pain and inflammation. This is certainly reasonable in the acute phase. Rest, bracing and crutches / walker may be necessary to rest the joint to allow the inflamed tissues to heal. As the inflammation calms down begin joint motion and strength exercises as soon as possible to prevent debilitation.
A weight loss program is critical to the long term health of your joints and your body if you are overweight. As little as ten pounds can make a difference. Weight loss strategies can be found in my articles. There are many low impact activities that can help you burn calories as well. Check with your doctor before you start an exercise program.
There are many glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements on the market. The scientific literature has mixed reviews on their effectiveness. I tell my patients to try it for a month or two and see if it makes a difference.
The scientific research showed me the importance of antioxidants glutathione, superoxide dismutase and catalase in osteoarthritis. The right nutrition and a low inflammatory diet will help you ease the pain of osteoathritis in my opinion and the opinion of many others.
The pharmaceutical companies will not take care of you. The government will not be able to take care of you. Why not take steps NOW to take care of yourself so that you can live a long, healthy AND productive life?
I wish you health and prosperity.
Source by Dr Vic Kalman