Meaning of Osteoarthritis
The osteoarthritis is a pathological, degenerative and non – inflammatory joint disorder. When the deformations it produces are very evident, we speak of deforming arthrosis.
Cartilage wear is the cause of osteoarthritis. When this tissue that protects the ends of the bones and facilitates the movement of the joint wears out, osteoarthritis begins to develop, which especially affects older people.
In women, osteoarthritis usually appears on the hands and knees, while in men the most frequent osteoarthritis occurs in the hip. In addition to age, other factors that affect the appearance of osteoarthritis are obesity and the type of occupation.
According to DigoPaul, osteoarthritis develops gradually. At first, joint pain is experienced after playing sports or doing physical exercises, and over time, this pain becomes more usual.
Osteoarthritis can not only cause swelling and pain, but also promote the growth of spurs in the joint and the breakage of bones and cartilage.
The doctors say it is impossible to stop or cure osteoarthritis. The treatments, therefore, aim to alleviate pain and minimize the discomfort caused by pathology through the supply of pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, or by indicating the use of knee pads, canes and other articles.
The drugs, however, can not be given in large doses because, often being ingested, can cause damage to the digestive tract or worsen existing symptoms.
Tips for living with osteoarthritis
Although there is no way to definitively combat osteoarthritis, it is possible to use a series of tips and recommendations to minimize pain. First of all, it is very important to stay in shape, so as not to demand more from the joints than they are prepared to support (this is especially necessary when the discomfort is focused on the hips, spine or knees).
On the other hand, it is highly recommended to do aerobic exercise frequently to promote better joint performance and prevent affected muscles from atrophying due to lack of activity; It can be walks, swimming or home routines, among other possibilities, as long as they are not over-performed and breaks are respected.
When osteoarthritis attacks the joints of the hands, doctors often advise minimizing the time spent on manual activities, since the constant repetition of a movement is detrimental to this condition. Some splints (flexible splints generally used to treat fractures) help to relieve the weight that the joints must support, although they must also be complemented with certain exercises that promote their mobility and strengthen the muscles.
Hot water baths are especially beneficial in the morning, as the inactivity of sleeping at night numbs the joints and accentuates pain. Applying heat to areas affected by osteoarthritis is also helpful in promoting relaxation and, like the cold, helps tone muscles. Low temperatures, on the other hand, are more useful in reducing inflammation.
The supplements nutrients such as chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate, which are available in pharmacies, delay the onset of osteoarthritis, although their use should be prescribed by a doctor, and not in all cases is desirable.
Last, but not least, avoid lifting excessive weights whenever possible, standing for long periods of time, and walking on uneven floors. In addition, the quality of footwear is essential to improve posture.