Osteoarthritis is a joint condition that causes joint inflammation and results into gradual degradation of joint cartilage. It may cause joint inflammation and stiffness over a period of time. This is chronic joint condition and may require good care to ensure that it does not result into permanent disability by reducing the movement.
What is Osteoarthritis?
To understand osteoarthritis, it is important to understand the structure of joints. Joint in human body is the place where two bones meet. In order to avoid friction between two bones, a soft protective layer called cartilage is present on the ends of bones. When the condition called Osteoarthritis (OA) triggers, the cartilage starts wearing and slowly gets damaged to the level where it breaks down. Due to absence of soft layer of cartilage at the joint, the bones start rubbing with each other and cause discomfort and pain. It slowly alters the bone structure at joints and alsocauses stiffness that may result into reduced movement. This degenerative joint disease is mostly found in elderly but in many cases it starts at young age.
How is Osteoarthritis Caused?
As this disease is associated with gradual damage to joints, age is the main factor causing it. The wear and tear caused to the joints accumulates over years and may finally result into damaged joints and cartilage. Apart from age, there are other causes like –
- Wrong posture
- Dislocated joints
- Injury to cartilage
There are many other reasons like gender, family history, and ethnicity that also play a major role in onset of this disease.
Home Remedies for Osteoarthritis
Reversing the damage in case of Osteoarthritis looks difficult, but certain lifestyle changes can always slow down further degeneration of joints and cartilage. The treatment in this case is more for managing the symptoms and reducing the pain. Some home remedies and lifestyle changes that can help reduce the symptoms and slow down the progress of this disease are given here –
Weight Management – Obesity or being overweight can put extra pressure on your joints. This would result into more friction between joints that would result in alteration of joint structure and damaged cartilage. For those carrying extra pounds, it is recommended to lose that extra weight to exert less pressure on joints. For those in their ideal weight range, it is important to maintain that weight to avoid problem in future.
Physical Exercise – While one may feel like giving complete rest to the joints in order to reduce wear and tear, the secret here is to keep moving. Regular movement of joints would reduce stiffness and also strengthen the joint muscles. Indulging in low impact physical exercise like swimming, yoga, and walking have shown promising results in symptom management. Avoid indulging in high impact physical exercise as that will cause more damage than good to your joints.
Proper Rest –Rest and sleep is important for your body and organs. Proper sleep will reduce inflammation of joints andprepare it for the next day. It will also help in reduction of swelling at joints that would otherwise cause more pain and stiffness.
Pain Reduction with Hot & Cold Compression –Hot and cold compressions would help in reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation at joints. Applying these compresses multiple times a day would help in relieving the pain. Reduction in pain and stiffness will help you keep your posture normal while moving and hence protect the joints against further damage.
Natural Supplements –Certain natural anti-inflammatory supplements like turmeric, green tea, ginger, and fish oil have also shown promising results. Include healthy and fiber rich food in your diet as this will keep your system clean and also keep the weight in check. Taking certain vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and beta-carotene have shown to be helpful in this condition.
Apart from the above remedies, massage therapy and acupuncture have also shown promising results in symptom management and slowing down of joint degeneration.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common problems affecting people in their later years. However, it can strike at any age and may require proper care to slow down further deterioration of the condition. Some simple lifestyle changes and diet modifications would go a long way in managing this chronic disease efficiently.