Ways to Cope with Osteoarthritis
Is Osteoarthritis Causing You Knee Joint Pain?
People have become aware of the benefits of physical fitness compared to how it was in the past few years. More have become conscious of their health and it has resulted to people switching to better diets and more physical activities unlike how it was back in the 80s or 90s. This may be the reason why some who do engage in a more active lifestyle tend to be caught off guard by particular aches and pains that are brought about by their lifestyle shift. Some people assume that the “healthier” and more active path they took should have veered them away from random pains unknowing that it is something that comes with the new territory.
Knee joint pains are a good example. People tend to forget both the importance and the complexity of the support system that the knees provide. That is of course until we get knee join pains that remind of it. Knee joint pains hinder people from a lot of people from performing multiple actions, some of these actions are things we do on a daily basis. Mobility and balance are some of the things that are taken away from us when we experience knee joint pain which makes us start to think where did this problem come from? As complex as the knee is various cases may provide different answers. Until examined a lot of people associate the pain to different things and overlook the possibility that the pain may be caused by osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is probably the most common form of arthritis which millions of people worldwide have. Its commonly identified when the cartilages get worn out due to use over time. As the cartilages continue to wear out over time the ends of our bones begin to rub against each other and the friction becomes the source of the pain we feel. Cartilages are an important part of our joints which are commonly overlooked. This soft and sturdy material between the bones cushion the movement between them preventing the bones from grinding against each other. When the bones grind against each other unassisted by the cartilage the friction between them causes pain every time the surfaces come in contact which make us lose mobility. As such, when the cartilage wears out it becomes a cause of concern.
Osteoarthritis is often found affecting the joints in the spine, hands, hips and knees. Once it has onset, osteoarthritis normally gets more and more noticeable in time. Pain in the joints during movement, a crackling or grinding sensation (or even sound) in the affected joint, reduced flexibility, and possibly even bone spurs that may form around the affected joint are symptoms of osteoarthritis.
A number of factors contribute to risks of osteoarthritis:
Age. With osteoarthritis being an overuse ailment with age we become more prone to it.
Gender. Thought it is still not clearly understood why, women are more prone to have it when it comes to osteoarthritis.
Obesity. Excessive weight puts a lot of pressure on the joints, as a result the cartilage gets worn down faster in extended periods of time. Fat tissue also produces proteins that are a known cause of joint inflammation further damaging them.
Genetics. Some people are genetically susceptible to suffer osteoarthritis, while others are born with malformed joints or even deformed cartilage.
Other diseases. Diabetes and other rheumatic diseases such as gout increases the risk of osteoarthritis.
Joint injuries. Physical activities come with unwanted and unforeseen circumstances which may lead to injuries. When joints get damaged by injuries it increases the risk of osteoarthritis.
Get a Checkup
Osteoarthritis is something that is troublesome if left unaddressed, its degenerative nature means that it gets worse as time goes by and it is left unchecked. In most cases people tend to leave it unchecked until the pain becomes unbearable, but by then the damage has already been done.
Dealing with Osteoarthritis
There are multiple ways of dealing with osteoarthritis. Changing some habits and shifting lifestyles can help us deal with the pains that osteoarthritis can bring.
Exercise. Strengthening the muscles around the joints makes the joints more stable. It also improves your endurance, and a regular routine is helpful.
Weight loss. Losing weight leads to a lot of benefits, especially to the joints in the lower extremities as they support most of our weight. Even a small amount of weight lost leads to a reduction in pressure for or knees and ankles over time, and in turn reduces the pain.
Use of assistive devices. There are some cases where in which the use of assistive devices help take a lot of the pressure off the affected limbs. A cane can takes some of your weight and would help you balance as you walk, and can be very useful when climbing stairs – people often overlook how important the weight and balance shifting involved actually is.
Alternative medicine and supplements is another way to help battle osteoarthritis. Before taking any of them make sure to ask for advice from your doctor just to be on the safe side.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a practice more common in Asia. Studies have shown that it can be used relieve pain, which also been seen to be true for people afflicted by knee osteoarthritis. As there are risks of infection and bruising where the needles are inserted into the skin. Always seek out a reputable acupuncturist.