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How Do You Stop Osteoarthritis From Progressing & Does It Hurt All The Time?

How Do You Stop Osteoarthritis From Progressing?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of the knee cartilage in which the breakdown of the cartilage occurs and residual products are released in the joint space. Once started, it is very difficult to stop the progression of this condition but it can be slowed down and functional limitation can also be reduced if proper training methods are followed.

The basic and most effective way to reduce the speed of progression of osteoarthritis is lifestyle management. Earlier, it was thought that osteoarthritis is a wear and tear condition occurring due to increasing in age and is inevitable. But now there is widespread research available on all the aspects of osteoarthritis which has shown that it is a combination of complex reasons arising due to the unhealthy lifestyle of the modern century.(1)

Weight reduction is the key to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis quickly. Excess weight and obesity increase the stress on all the joints of the body but especially on knee joints. Studies have proved that obesity is the cause for faster damage to the cartilage and fasten the process of osteoarthritis development. So it is the very first step that weight reduction should be done as soon as possible after the osteoarthritis development has started.

Dietary modifications and regular exercise are the two important ways to reduce weight but diet management is the most effective one. Reduced calorie intake and burning of a greater number of calories then the intake will effectively reduce the weight by burning the residual adipose tissue. Stress management which may lead to increased food intake should be done and also the use of alcohol should be stopped because it is the most versatile contributor to weight gain.(2)

Does It Hurt All The Time?

According to various studies done on the progression of osteoarthritis, exercising regime has been shown to control the symptoms such as pain in a much better way than pharmacological treatment. The regular exercising regime must be followed because it increases the strength of the surrounding muscles of the affected joint and helps to maintain the joint space. Correcting the posture and following a 30 minutes moderate-intensity exercise routine will be very helpful to curb the progression of osteoarthritis.(3)

Few of the pharmacological treatment has also been considered to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis but it cannot be completely stopped once it has set in. In various studies, vitamin E supplementation is effective in curbing the causes of osteoarthritis because it is an effective antioxidant. Painkiller especially the group of Cox 2 enzyme inhibitors is commonly given in the patients suffering from osteoarthritis because they are very much effective in relieving the pain but not much effect has been seen on the progression of osteoarthritis.(4)

Initially, when the symptoms start occurring, the pain is only during rigorous exercise and at the specific site on the affected joint. It does not occur during the whole day and can also be relieved easily with rest. The movement of the involved joint is also not affected much during the early stages of osteoarthritis. But as the disease progresses and the patient’s age also increases especially above the age of 65 years, there is a dramatic increase in the pain and the period of it also increases. There is an additional symptom of morning stiffness of the joint in which the movement is restricted for a period which is usually less than 30 minutes. There is a lot of pain experienced during this period but it improves as the day progresses and routine work begins.


It is nearly impossible to completely stop the progression of osteoarthritis because it is also a wear and tear disease occurring due to aging but it can be slowed down with only a few lifestyle modifications.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 2, 2020

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