Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition, which is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage begins to degrade over time, causing pain and inflammation. It tends to occur most frequently in the hands, hips, and spine.
In addition, osteoarthritis knee is very common. With 240 people worldwide suffering from this disease, it’s a major medical problem that costs the healthcare system billions every year. Although there are good treatments available, more research is still required to help ease the suffering of osteoarthritis patients.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
The physical cause for osteoarthritis is the breakdown of cartilage. As the cartilage is the protective cushion for the end of bones in the joints, this can lead to tremendous pain and swelling.
In addition, osteoarthritis does cause harm to the joint itself. It causes damage to the bone and connective tissue that surrounds the joints and connects tissue to bone.
There are a number of risk factors that can lead to developing osteoarthritis. An injury to the joint can cause the condition, or make you more likely to develop it. The same is true if you apply stress to the joint on a continual basis.
There is also a genetic component to this disease, so if a close relative has it (such as a parent) your chances of getting it are also increased.
For reasons unknown, women are more likely to develop this condition than men. In addition, the risk goes up with advanced age. Another problem that puts many patients at risk is obesity, as it causes pressure to be applied to the bones and joints.
Common Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
The primary symptoms of this disease include pain in the joints — especially with movement, stiffness, lack of flexibility and swelling surrounding the joints. In addition, there may be tenderness. It’s also possible to experience a grating sensation in the joint when you move.
Many people with osteoarthritis also worry about getting headaches. Can osteoarthritis in the neck cause headaches?
While it’s possible, it’s not common to have that happen. Pain killers may help if this does occur.
Tips to Manage Osteoarthritis
There are a number of methods you can use to treat your condition, as well as some lifestyle changes you can make. Here are some tips:
- Do low-impact exercise several times a week. This strengthens the muscles and tissues surrounding the joint, which can alleviate pain and swelling.
- Try to stay at an average weight. If you are overweight, this can put stress on the joints. Losing some weight can significantly ease symptoms.
- Use a cold pack on your joints for 20 minutes, a couple of times a day.
- Apply a hot compress to your joints to ease pain and inflammation.
- Protect your joints from injury by avoiding lifting heavy things or carrying out any movement that puts pressure on them.
- Sleep well every night. Sleeping poorly can exacerbate symptoms.
- Follow a diet high in anti-inflammatory benefits. Eat foods like fatty fish, nuts, berries, whole grain, beans, olive oil, fruits and vegetables. Stay away from tomatoes or nightshade vegetables, as these can worsen symptoms.
Osteoarthritis can be a painful and debilitating condition, but there are both lifestyle changes you can make and treatments you can undergo to ease your symptoms. Regular chiropractic visits and massage therapy can do a lot to improve your pain and give you back your comfort and mobility.
At Kilian Chiropractic, we have expertise in treating osteoarthritis patients and alleviating symptoms. To learn more about how we can help you ease your pain, call us to book an appointment at 604-688-0724 or contact us via our website today.