Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic (long-lasting) joint condition.In this cartilage (ends of these bones are covered with protective tissue) breaks down, causing the bones within the joint to rub together. This can cause pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. OA is also called degenerative joint disease, degenerative arthritis, and wear-and-tear arthritis. It is one of the leading cause of disability.
CAUSES: OA is caused by joint damage. Age is one of the main causes of the joint damage leading to osteoarthritis.
Other causes of joint damage include past injury, such as:
• torn cartilage
• dislocated joints
• ligament injuries
• joint malformation
• poor posture.
• Certain risk factors, such as family history and gender, increase your risk of osteoarthritis.
SITE:OA can occur in any joint i.e; hands, fingertips, knees, hips, spine, typically at the neck or lower back
symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, tenderness (discomfort when pressing on the area with your fingers), stiffness, inflammation. Over time, swelling in the joint and surrounding area may also occur.
OA is a progressive condition. People with severe OA have extensive or complete loss of cartilage in one or more joints. The bone-on-bone friction associated with this can cause severe symptoms such as:
• Increased swelling and inflammation. synovial fluid within the joint may increase. Normally, it helps in reduction of friction during movement. However, in larger amounts, it cause joint swelling. Fragments of broken cartilage may also float within the synovial fluid, increasing pain and swelling.
• Increased pain. pain during activities as well as during rest.
• Decreased range of motion. due to stiffness or pain in joints.
• Joint instability. you may experience locking (sudden lack of movement). You may also experience buckling (when your knee gives out), which can cause falls and injury.
• Other symptoms. muscle weakness, bone spurs, and joint deformity may also occur.
The joint damage caused by severe OA isn’t reversible, but treatment can help reduce symptoms.
DIAGNOSIS: Early OA is often diagnosed after an accident or other incident that causes a fracture requiring an X-ray. Doctor may use an MRI scan to diagnose OA. This imaging test uses radio waves and a magnetic field to create images of bone and soft tissue.
At-home treatments and lifestyle changes for OA include:
Physical activity strengthens the muscles around your joints and may help relieve stiffness. yoga can also improve joint flexibility and help with pain management.
Weight loss Shedding excess pounds helps relieve the pressure on joints and reduces pain.
Adequate sleep can reduce swelling and inflammation.
Heat and cold therapy. Apply a cold or hot compress to sore joints for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day torelieve muscle pain and stiffness
Some supplements or herbs that may help reduce inflammation and pain include fish oil, green tea, ginger, glucosamine.
Other alternative treatment options include acupuncture, physiotherapy, massage.
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT:for OA is safe and natural. Homeopathic medicines helps in relieving joint pain, it reduces swelling and stiffness; however the degenerative or the structural changes cannot be reversed,these medicines definitely help in slowing down the progress of cartilage degeneration.
Rhus Toxicodendron patient experiences pain in hip joint (OA OF HIPJOINT) on going up the stairs or sitting down. There is stiffness and pain in hip joint on getting up from a sitting position and when the patient gets relief by walking or by application of heat on the affected joint.
Bryonia Alba is indicated for Osteoarthritis of knee joint. pain gets worse by walking and the patient feels better by taking absolute rest. There is stiffness and swelling in knees. pain in knee joint with a crackling sound while walking. Pain in knees while climbing stairs.
Ruta : pain in knees that gets aggravated by bending the knee joint while kneeling and while going down the stairs, and when the pain in knee joint gets better by applying pressure. The pain in knees that gets better by stretching the affected extremity.
Calcarea Carbonica : swelling and pain in knee joints, which get aggravated when getting up from a sitting position and also by walking. pain in knee joints gets worse by working in water like washing clothes. knees remain excessively cold along with the pain.
Sulphur : pains aggravate while using the stairs, along with stiffness and pain get worse on standing. There is excessive heat in the feet along with the knee pains.
Causticum: pains are associated with much stiffness and cracking in knee joints. knee pain gets better by applying heat and gets worse by exposure to cold air.
Colcynthis is indicated for hip joint Osteoarthritis when the pain in hip is of cramping type and gets better by applying pressure. pain increases by motion, standing and stooping.
Pulsatilla Nigricans is indicated for Osteoarthritis patients who complain of pain in hip joint as if it is dislocated and who feel better when in motion. shifting type of pain from one joint to another with much restlessness.
Osteoarthritis of finger joints
Calcarea Fluorica: nodes of stony hard character have formed on finger joints, thus reducing the mobility of fingers.
Antimonium Crudum is indicated for pain in finger joints which gets worse in cold weather or by washing hands in cold water and feel better by applying something warm on the fingers. Pain in finger joints alternates with stomach complaints with a thick white-coated tongue.
Benzoic Acid : pain in fingers is associated with cracking sounds on moving the fingers. nodes have been formed on the finger joints. There is excessive offensiveness of urine along with pain in finger joints .