Friday, December 4, 2015

Osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis, one of the commonest form of arthritis, affects millions of individuals across the globe. This form of arthritis is characterized by development of pain and swelling in the joints of the hands, spine and knees.

What causes osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage that provides a cushioning effect to the bones undergoes deterioration. The various risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis include advancing age, obesity, several disease conditions, bone deformities, injury to the joint, specific type of occupation that causes stress on a particular joint and genes.

How does osteoarthritis spread?

Osteoarthritis is not a contagious disease and does not spread from one person to another.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

Individuals suffering from osteoarthritis experience the following signs and symptoms:

  •  Pain in the affected joint during movement
  • The joint area becomes tender
  • Joint stiffness
  • Individuals can hear the sound of grating which arises when the joint is used
  • Joint flexibility decreases to a great extent
  • Development of bone spurs
What is the treatment of osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis cannot be cured. However, the condition can be managed and a quality life lived with a combination of different treatment regimes. The various treatment methods employed include the following:
·    Medications such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs are given for decreasing the severity of the symptoms.
·         Various therapies such as physical and occupational therapy also form an important part of the treatment regime. The individuals are taught various exercises to build muscle and joint strength. They are also trained about new ways to carry out their daily tasks which would exert less pressure on the affected joints.
·      Braces or even shoe inserts are given to individuals which would decrease pain while walking or standing.
·         Surgery is considered when other modes of treatment did not work for the individual. The various surgical procedures that are considered include joint replacement and realignment of bones.

How can osteoarthritis be prevented?

It is not possible to prevent osteoarthritis. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle and modifying the ways you lift objects, bend your joints, walk and stand can help to stop the progression of the disease.

Diet and lifestyle changes in osteoarthritis?

Adopting healthy lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing osteoarthritis. Exercise forms an integral part and should be done regularly to strengthen the muscles and joints. Adhering to a healthy meal plan and keeping your weight under check would also exert less pressure on the joints. Being overweight or obese can worsen osteoarthritis and can deteriorate the condition. Making use of assisted devices while you walk around or stand can also decrease the load and pressure on your joints.

What is Ayurvedic treatment of osteoarthritis?

Various Ayurvedic remedies have been found to be helpful in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Adhering to a specialized dietary plan that consists of soups made of lentils, pulses and meat should be considered. Ayurvedic preparation ointments for local application should be considered such as Mahanarayan tail, mustard oil and bala taila. Other herbs that are used include dashmool Ghana, maharasnadi quath Ghana, vata vidhwas rasa and triphala guggul.

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