One of the main causes of concern among aging adults is arthritis. There are many flavors of this bone condition, but arthritis of the cartilage or osteoarthritis is the most common one. Osteoarthritis has affected nearly 20 million people in the US alone and involves the loss of cartilage connecting bone joints. As a result of this loss, the two adjoining bones come close to each other causing pain, friction, discomfort and more cartilage loss.
Mild osteoarthritis is just another aging process to begin with and not something that is a result of unhealthy lifestyle or diet. Severe form of this condition only happens when the person is overweight, idle or has bad food habits. The pain tends to be more severe during the day when the person is moving and remains during the night during sleep. Overtime, this may lead to total immobility of the joint. Other conditions aggravating osteoarthritis include trauma, fractures and heavy falls. It may start as early as age thirty-five or as late as age fifty five. Men are more prone to early onset of this condition while women experience in their late fifties.
One of the most common sites of osteoarthritis is knee mostly because it carries most of the body weight. An X-ray typically identifies the presence of osteoarthritis. However, more diagnosis techniques are used to be sure. The X-ray and other methods can reveal how much of the cartilage is lost, and how much space is left between the joints. Other diagnosis technique like Arthroscopy lets the physician look at the inner part of the joints and determine the entire condition of the cartilage.
Since osteoarthritis once occurred cannot be repaired to its original form, certain steps can be taken to prevent further cartilage degeneration. One such step is losing weight. By losing those extra pounds around knees and other parts of the body, you can relieve a lot of burden on the skeletal system including cartilage between joints. There are also treatments that are aimed at alleviating pain and discomfort caused by this condition. For example, anti-inflammatory medicines and physical therapies are helpful, so is support devices for knees. These devices are easily available at your local health stores or clinic like knee replacement ohio center. When these conservative approaches fail, surgery is recommended. Here, the surgeon will restore lost cartilage and relieve stress points through appropriate surgery technique.
Many people with mild form of osteoarthritis turn to physical therapies and alternate medicines. Some homeopathic medications claim to restore cartilage but there is no such evidence that it will apart from relieving pain. Another effective treatment for this condition is Omega-3 oil that can provide some relief from the symptoms. Tylenol and other pain killers also help but all these medications should be taken under the strict supervision of a physician. There have been many advancements in curing osteoarthritis, one such involves growing the patient’s own cartilage in a laboratory and inserting in between the joints where it is lost.