Osteoarthritis (OA) has been regarded as the most chronic and discomforting amongst other common joint conditions or disorders. Being a cut-out from arthritis, osteoarthritis also comes with the agonizing pain that arthritis exhibits.
A joint can be regarded as the point where two different bones meet. There exist tissues we call cartilages covering the end of these joints. Osteoarthritis happens when there is a tear or breakdown of these cartilages, causing friction and instability within the affected joint, which tend to lead to symptoms like stiffness, severe pains, and discomfort.
Although osteoarthritis can occur amongst young adults, it is more rampant among the aged and old people. Osteoarthritis can otherwise be called wear and tear arthritis, and degenerative arthritis.
CAUSES OF OSTEOPOROSIS
Osteoarthritis occurs as a result of a disorder or damage in the joints which brings about many negative effects. Below are some common causes of osteoarthritis:
OA stands a higher possibility of occurring in older people and people above the age of 70. Nonetheless, osteoarthritis isn’t restricted to the aged. Younger people also stand a chance of discovering symptoms of osteoarthritis, like severe pains, morning stiffness of the joint, limited motion of the joint, etc. This is mostly accompanied by restlessness from the patient.
The severity of an injured joint resulting from sporting activities stands a chance of leading to osteoarthritis among young and old adults. A knee injury resulting from sporting events can as well, lead to osteoarthritis. These injuries may include dislocated joints, a broken bone, torn cartilage, etc.
The excessive mass and weight of the body are also contributing causes of osteoarthritis in most people. This is not curbed to a specific age or gender. One who is overweight stands a higher chance of experiencing symptoms of OA. Excessive body mass imposes extra stress on the joints, especially the back, hips, knees, and sometimes the shoulders, causing the cartilages to tear or get damaged.
The kind of jobs one engages in can trigger osteoarthritis. Jobs performed for hours stand a chance of birthing a pain in the joint. Some of these jobs or activities may include kneeling, squatting, or sitting for long hours, hard labor, etc. These pains mostly occur in the wrists, knees, back, etc.
Treatments of Osteoarthritis
Irrespective of the agony and pain that osteoarthritis causes when it develops in a person, there still exist treatments and remedies to restore the affected joint to its normal shape. Below are some common treatments of osteoarthritis:
Engaging in Exercises
This can’t be overemphasized. Exercises remain the most effective means of treating osteoarthritis, Irrespective of the age bracket. It contributes a whole lot to the recovery of a joint injury or pain. Your daily activities should include exercises to strengthen your joints and muscles and keep your body in good shape.
There’s been a wrong perception that exercises add more stress to your aching joint, but when you engage in the right mode of exercises, this will enhance the motion of your joints and therefore, boosts your recovery.
People suffering from overweight or obesity have a higher risk of having osteoarthritis because an extra load is added to the joints, which in turn might result in a tear in the cartilages. Working towards weight reduction is a trusted means of healing joint injuries. Planning a suitable exercise with your physiotherapist is an ideal way of carrying out the healing process. Work also on your diet. Eat less fatty foods and more foods that keep your body healthy.
Application of Cold or Heat
Applying a pack of ice or heat to the affected joint can as well reduce joint pains and limit the occurrence of symptoms in some individuals. A towel soaked in hot water or a packet of ice cubes applied on the injured area extinguishes the pain and aids in the recovery of the patient.
WHAT TO AVOID TO PREVENT OA FROM GETTING WORSE
Avoid Strenuous Jobs/Activities
Although some exercises and activities are healthy for the treatment of osteoarthritis, certain activities are triggers to osteoarthritis which include strenuous jobs like physical labor, squatting, or sitting for lengthy hours. Avoiding these activities and switching them for activities that impose less stress on the joint would be advised.
Research has proven that high heel shoes are likely contributors to osteoarthritis pain, because this alters a person’s mode of walking and standing, thereby imposing more stress on the knee joint. This even becomes worse if the person is obese. So it is advisable to restrain from wearing heels and go for low-heeled shoes instead. It does a lot in preventing the occurrence of osteoarthritis.
Restrain From Inflammatory diet
Avoid the consumption of fatty foods that adds weight to your body, and consume more foods that will help you lose weight, like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Eating fiber-rich foods helps in strengthening the joints and muscles, and helps prevent the occurrence of wear and tear in the cartilages.
Control Your Sugar Level
When your blood sugar level gears up, it exposes you to the chances of getting osteoarthritis. Check regularly your sugar level if you suffer from diabetes. Consult your health provider on ways to maintain a low sugar level if tests show that they are high. This will help in the blockage of a possible occurrence of OA.
Prevent Injuries from Occurring in Your Joint
While you carry out your everyday activities, take proper caution so you don’t sprain or injure your knee or other joints. Take about 10 minutes of your time each day to do warm-ups, stretches, and gentle movements of your joints.
Try changing exercises each day. Avoid activities that put your joints under stress and pressure. This helps in the smooth movements of your joints and as well keeps your body system healthy.
SLEEPING WITH OSTEOARTHRITIS
Osteoarthritis pain can be tolerable during the hours of the day, but becomes a thorn in the flesh when it’s bedtime, and can result in one not having proper sleep. And this, to a larger extent, increases the pain, making an agonizing blend of inadequate sleep and frustrating pains.
Below are tips you can apply of osteoarthritis pains are inferring you from enjoying good night rest:
Apply heat before going to bed
Ease the pains in the affected joint by applying heated water to the area for about 15 minutes before going to bed. You can alternatively take a warm bath, then give your body some time to cool out to avoid going to bed all heated up. This lightens the pain and gives you some comfort while you sleep.
The pillow strategy
The way you use your pillows can as well help in having a comfortable sleep. If you suffer knee or hip pains and prefer sleeping sideways, you would be more comfortable placing a pillow between the knees. Shoulder arthritis would require you to use wedge pillows and sleep facing upwards for more comfort.
Exercises and stretches
There is the fear among patients of osteoarthritis that engaging in exercises will likely increase the severity of the pain. But on the other way round, exercises help in minimizing joint pains. People who engage in regular exercises are prone to comfortable sleep.
Refrain from eating when it’s past 9 pm
One major cause of inadequate sleep is eating at late hours of the night which is capable of disrupting quality sleep. Try eating 2 hours before going to bed to help in the proper digestion of the food.
Good sleeping hygiene
Try to get your body acquainted with good sleeping habits like retreating to bed early and at a specific time each night, preparing your body and mind before sleep, etc. This aids in keeping the body at ease for a night of proper and quality sleep.
Take pain reliever at night
Several pain reliefs go a long way in reducing the pains. However, this can put your health and body system at great risk, and would only be advised if other remedies proved abortive. Also, visit a doctor for a proper prescription before intake.
EXERCISES THAT ARE SAFE
This includes a walk for 5 minutes for warm-up. Then, a bed sheet is looped around the right foot to help in pulling up the leg. Using the sheet, you hold up the leg for about 20 seconds, then lower it. This is done repeatedly, then switched to the other leg. This helps in the flexible motion of your joints.
This is done by resting your balance on a chair and bending your right foot. You place the left leg backward and straighten it slowly behind you. Press the heel of your left leg to the ground. You’ll feel a stretch in your calf. Hold in this posture for about 20 seconds. Then switch to the other leg.
Lie facing upwards, bending both knees. Then you place between your knees a pillow for the exercise. Then squeeze the pillow by pressing the knees together. Hold in this position for a few seconds. Release. Repeat this about 10 more times. This strengthens the muscles that support the movement of your knees.
Even if your knees or hips have grown stiff and sore, walking will serve as a great exercise to relieve you of the pains. You can start in slow motion, and gradually increase your pace. This helps in the flexibility of your joints, strengthens the muscles in your legs, and improves the accurate functioning of your heart.
DIETS FOR OSTEOPOROSIS
Maintaining a healthy diet not only helps limit the chances of osteoarthritis but also provides the body with the required nutritional supplement for the accurate functioning of the body system.
Some foods contain anti-inflammatory capabilities and low cholesterol that safeguards the cartilages from wearing out and maintaining moderate body weight. A nutritious diet will provide the body with all it needs to shield the joints from damage, which is a necessity for osteoarthritis patients.
Below are some diets that are recommended for people suffering from osteoporosis:
Foods and byproducts like milk, yogurt, cheese, etc are very rich in vitamin D and calcium which strengthens the bones forming the joints, minimizing the chances of possible osteoarthritis disease.
Proteins are also contained in dairy products which build and strengthen the muscles.
Dark green leaves
These green leaves or vegetables contain rich vitamin D and phytochemicals that help combat stress and boost the immunity of the body system. These leafy greens may include spinach, collard greens, kale, etc.
It has been proven by scientists that garlic contains diallyl disulfide that fights against organisms and enzymes that damage cartilages. Including this in your diet will aid in the improvement of the pains.
Experts believe that oily fish has healthy omega-3 acids. These fatty acids are made of anti-inflammatory properties, therefore they are recommended for people suffering from OA. These healthy fish include mackerel, fresh tuna, sardines, salmon, etc. Osteoarthritis patients should consume at least a chunk of oily fish each week.
Nuts like walnuts, chestnuts, acorn, kernels, etc are recommended to be consumed by people suffering from osteoarthritis because they contain zinc, fiber, and vitamin E. They are also made of alpha-linolenic acid that gears up the body’s immune system.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS
There are natural remedies through which arthritis can be relieved without necessarily going to medications and taking sachets of pain relief pills for the aching joint. However, these remedies don’t nullify the normal treatments but only reduce the pains. Explained below are just a few of them, which includes:
This involves the act of placing the mind in a calm and serene state and trying to direct your attention to the feelings of the body at that specific time. This reduces the stress that may have piled up in the joints and boosts the effectiveness of the working body system.
A very common yet effective natural remedy for hip or knee injury. Regularly massaging joints and muscles stands a chance of reducing pains from arthritis. Experts have discovered that massaging the body curbs the body’s ability to produce stress.
This is regarded as the most reliable and effective means of treating hip injuries outside taking drugs and pain relievers. Exercises like cycling, jogging, walking, swimming, improve body functionality. Exercises could be painful to the injured joint, but constant practice and staying active restricts further damage and enhances the better movement of the joint.
Undoubtedly, this is an effective way of reducing the stress on the joints, and as well, helping in the body functionality, because the heavier your body is, the more pressure and weight your joints have to bear and this would result in future complications.
Osteoporosis or Osteoarthritis could be a real pain in the body as it prevents us from wholly performing our daily activities, even work is disrupted, but it doesn’t have to bring us to a total shutdown.
Home remedies and natural remedies are also a great way to cure Osteoarthritis, but oftentimes, it is usually not a permanent solution, a temporary fix at best. If you notice that home remedies are no longer effective, do not hesitate to contact your doctor immediately.
With effective treatment and the medical advice of a skilled practitioner, diagnosis and treatment should be easy and without stress. With the medications prescribed by the doctor, if taken correctly and as prescribed, you should be on your way to breaking free from Osteoporosis.