April 27 2021
A degenerative disease, osteoarthritis is the most commonly found types of arthritis, which affects many people around the globe. In this disease, the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones wears down, over time. It mostly affects the joints in the hands, hips, knees, and spinal cord. The symptoms of osteoarthritis are usually manageable, but the damaged joints cannot be reversed. The treatment is based on self-care advice and medical care. If you’re having pain in your joints and any sort of stiffness that is not showing improvements, it is recommended to see a doctor immediately.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis develop over long periods and get worse if left untreated. The main symptoms of this condition are:
- The affected joints, sometimes hurt or experience strain during or after movement.
- When applied even a little amount of pressure, the joints might feel tender or weak.
- You might not be able to move the joints with flexibility.
- Inflammation in soft tissues might cause swelling externally, which is an indication of osteoarthritis.
- Voices of crackling or popping or even a sensation of scraping might be observed during joint movement.
- A lump like structures might form around the affected areas of joints.
Risk factors of osteoarthritis
Various factors contribute to the development of osteoarthritis, associated with various other conditions:
- Age: as a person gets old or aged, the risk of osteoarthritis increases.
- Sex: the risk of osteoarthritis depends slightly on the sex of the person. Women are more likely to get affected by osteoarthritis, although the reason for the same is not known.
- Obesity: People who are obese or overweight, are more likely to get osteoarthritis as excess body weight can put pressure on the joints.
- Joint injuries or stress on joints: Injuries, if left untreated, might result in osteoarthritis. Also, if repeated stress is applied to your joints, it might lead to osteoarthritis over a long period.
Self-care remedies for osteoarthritis
- Lifestyle changes: lifestyle changes are really necessary for long term benefits as well as treatment. They can never cause any side effects, unlike conventional medicines.
- Maintenance of weight: our joints bear a lot of weight. So, it is natural if someone is overweight, they tend to become weak over time. So, management of weight is necessary to treat osteoarthritis. Many doctors say that every pound added to our body is equivalent to 3 to 6 pounds on the joints. A healthy weight can hence alleviate pain and also help in treating osteoarthritis.
- Physical activity: the best exercising techniques for the treatment of osteoarthritis include bike riding, walking, yoga, and swimming, as; they use slight resistance and are low impact. Exercising can be quite hard for people who have joint pain. However, exercises are one of the most effective non-drug treatments of osteoarthritis in the long term effect. It is important to take advice from a medical professional before you start any new exercises. Exercises of moderate-intensity or normal walking can be highly beneficial.
- Have a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet with “osteoarthritis friendly foods” can be highly beneficial in treating the disease with a long term effect. It can also aid in weight loss which can relieve joint pain by reducing the pressure on them. Foods like broccoli, citrus foods, green tea, ginger, nuts, olive oil, garlic, fish oil, or flaxseed oil, dairy products can be really helpful for reducing joint pain. Sugars, rice, white bread, alcohol, excessive salt, Trans fat need to be avoided in this condition.
- Epsom salt: when bathing, add Epsom salt to the water.2 cups can be added in lukewarm water. This can alleviate joint pain and relieve the whole body. Epsom salt contains a large amount of magnesium, which reduces inflammation as well as pain. These baths are safe if the duration is less than or even equal to, 30 minutes.
- Hot and cold compress: hot and cold compresses can relieve pain. A little heat is very cooperative in improving the stiffness of joints, and, on the other hand, cold compresses can help in treating joint pain. Reduction of joint pain as well as spasms that surround the joints. Another advantage of this technique is that it is quite easy to do it.
- Support your joint: many devices are available in the market that adds support to the joints. This is also a non-drug method used for the reduction of pain. Options for the same are braces, canes, gripping tools, knee caps, etc. the device must be chosen carefully, depending on the affected area, on the advice of a doctor.
- Topical treatments: topical creams or ointments are a good option to treat osteoarthritis. Many gels/ creams like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, contain components (analgesics) that can relieve pain. The topical methods work well for areas near to the skin, for example, knees. They can be applied directly to the affected joint areas. Tiger balm, horse liniment, and capsaicin are some other remedies effective in relieving pain in the joints. However, you must talk to your doctor first before using any topical cream or gel.
- Some herbal supplements and foods: some natural remedies are gaining popularity these days. For example, green tea, an anti-inflammatory beverage. Green tea contains compounds known as polyphenols, which reduce inflammation or swelling, and also might fulfill some other needs. Some research studies have found out that green tea can protect cartilage when consumed in moderation.
Ginger, another natural pain reliever can have some positive effects against osteoarthritis. Long term usage of ginger can eliminate the risks associated with osteoarthritis and help in treating joint pain. It can be used as a spice in various preparations as well as a supplement in moderate amounts, as; overdose may cause stomach ache, diarrhea, or an upset stomach.
Available in a pack of 90 soft gelatin capsules, Alvizia’s joint complex consists of glucosamine and chondroitin. These two components facilitate the treatment of osteoarthritis. It is also given to athletes who have had injuries. It is also used to treat arthritis, osteoarthritis, dry eye syndrome, and keratoconjunctivitis. This supplement should be stored in a cool, dry place and away from sunlight and moisture.