The recognition of osteoarthritis is important. Around the world, millions of people suffer from osteoarthritis. This disease affects the lives of those affected very much. Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for early retirement in many parts of the world. Many people receive a new joint in developed countries every year. The main reason for these numbers: Osteoarthritis often only becomes noticeable after years of severe pain. At this point, the articular cartilage has worn out so much that treatment is no longer possible. Detecting osteoarthritis early improves the chances of successful treatment.(1)
Is It A Serious Condition?
Osteoarthritis is a common category of rheumatism that can develop in any joint. The causes of osteoarthritis are diverse and – unlike arthritis – have nothing to do with inflammation. Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage in the joint is damaged. This can happen due to an accident, incorrect posture or overload. Staring at the computer screen for hours, scoliosis of the spine or a sprained ankle can cause osteoarthritis over time. Osteoarthritis of the finger is a woman’s disease in advanced years. Women are affected by osteoarthritis around 10 times more often than men. Doctors suspect that hormone change during menopause is responsible. Hereditary disposition increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Being overweight exacerbates any osteoarthritis because it puts stress on the joints.(2)
What Happens To Osteoarthritis Over Time?
What is osteoarthritis agree? The onset of osteoarthritis is always an injury to the articular cartilage. This does not cause pain because cartilage tissue is not attached to the nervous system. Cartilage tissue regenerates only slowly. The older we get, the more time it takes to build up cartilage. If there is an injury, the gap between the bones in the joint decreases and there is increased friction. If the cartilage does not regenerate in time, the cartilage wears away. Cartilage tears mean that the cartilage no longer seals the joint space. The joint lubricant penetrates the bone mass. This can lead to the formation of debris cysts in the bone. Enzymes, cell residues, and metabolic products from the surrounding tissues leading to painful inflammation of the joints.(3)
Initial Pain Due To Osteoarthritis
If you ignore the first pains, the so-called start-up pain, osteoarthritis can get much worse. The inner skin of the joint, the ligaments and the bones themselves change. In the final stage of osteoarthritis, bone rubs against bone. This leads to a densification of the bone tissue to balance the load. Bony growths form on the edge of the joint, the osteophytes. The joint deforms. Osteoarthritis in the knee, hip and shoulder joints is particularly common.
How Can You Recognize Osteoarthritis Early?
The early detection of osteoarthritis improves the treatment chances enormously. Advanced osteoarthritis is not curable. Early detection and timely countermeasures can prevent osteoarthritis from reaching the end-stage. The first sign of worsening osteoarthritis is starting pain. You start moving, for example walking or running. For a short time, you feel pain or a feeling of tension. Then the complaints disappear. This is an alarm signal that you shouldn’t take lightly. At this point, the joint skin is already attacked and easily inflamed. Your doctor can decide whether the symptoms are early-stage osteoarthritis or some other disease.
FDA recently considered osteoarthritis as a serious condition. Although it rarely causes complete disability, it may severely hamper daily life quality.(4)
Can Osteoarthritis Be Reversed?
Pain treatment is an important part of osteoarthritis therapy. However, long-term use of analgesic, chemical agents often leads to undesirable side effects. Besides, these agents strain the liver and kidneys. Herbal remedies may relieve pain without stressing the body. The plant active ingredients of herbal remedies also promote the body’s natural self-healing powers. Overweight people with osteoarthritis should lose weight to reduce the stress on the osteoarthritis joint. Proper nutrition can help to improve symptoms. A lot of fruits and vegetables and more fish instead of meat are the basic rules of the diet for osteoarthritis.(5)
- Guan VX, Mobasheri A, Probst YC. A systematic review of osteoarthritis prevention and management with dietary phytochemicals from foods. Maturitas. 2019;122:35-43.
- Chen D, Shen J, Zhao W, et al. Osteoarthritis: toward a comprehensive understanding of pathological mechanism. Bone research. 2017;5(1):1-13.
- Bieleman H, Stewart R, Reneman M, et al. Trajectories of Physical Work Capacity in Early Symptomatic Osteoarthritis of Hip and Knee: Results from the Cohort Hip and Cohort Knee (CHECK) Study. Journal of occupational rehabilitation. 2019;29(3):483-492.
- Driban JB, Harkey MS, Liu S-H, Salzler M, McAlindon TE. Osteoarthritis and Aging: Young Adults with Osteoarthritis. Current Epidemiology Reports. 2020;7(1):9-15.
- Mohsen MM, Eltomy EM, Riad NA. Health Related Quality of Life Following Dietary and Exercise Interventions among Women with Knee Osteoarthritis. American Journal of Nursing. 2020;8(1):27-37.
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