Osteoarthritis- Self Blood Treatment
Osteoarthritis is one of the most successfully treated diseases especially of the knee and the hip. The former afflicts the Indians, while the latter is more prevalent in the West. There are several reasons for it.
The problem of osteoarthritis is a progressive disease. It occurs when the cartilage covering the end of the bones within a joint including the overgrowth of bones becomes worn out and starts degenerating.
This disease occurs in the knees due to wear and tear. It is caused by trauma or progressive deterioration of the articular cartilage and menisci of the joint. It leads to the exposure of the surface of the bone. The symptoms of this progressive disease include joint stiffness, inflammation, swelling and difficulty in walking.
In the US alone, osteoarthritis disability affects over 27 million people. The problem gradually and generally begins after the age of 40 years.
Light Exercises can Delay Osteoarthritis
A new study has shown that simple changes in physical activity can delay the onset of osteoarthritis.
It has been found that participating in a high-impact activity such as running for more than one hour per day at least three times a week is the highest risk factor for the occurrence of osteoarthritis, as it causes more degeneration of the cartilage.
But avoiding the frequent knee-bending activities and performing light exercises may protect against the disease.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness.
It has been proved by MRI exams that light exercisers had the healthiest knee cartilage among all exercise levels. The cartilage remains healthier with light exercises than with heavy or no exercises.
Depending upon the severity of pain, swelling, and inflammation, it could be treated with analgesics, physiotherapy or exercises to improve function and mobility, weight control, bracing, corticosteroid injections or medication.
Acute osteoarthritis needs different types of surgery.
Injections of Synthetic Grease
A microenvironment of toxic fluid develops in osteoarthritis along with the presence of the fragments of hyaluronic acid, catabolic or energy releasing enzymes and inflammation-causing molecules. The condition of this toxic environment is improved by giving intra-articular injections.
For natural lubrication, a gel-like substance or synthetic grease is injected into the joints in viscosupplementation. It is done either by a single or a set of three injections to reduce the friction inside the joints by providing essential constituents to the fluid in the joints.
Injection of PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma
The main constraints for surgery are financial compulsions, social taboos, and associated diseases.
There are patients who are in the early stages of degeneration, where joint replacement is not needed in the future. The severity and occurrence of the disease could be prevented.
An alternative cure for the treatment of osteoarthritis has always been felt. The new method of biologic treatment of injecting platelet-rich-plasma or PRP is being experimented without artificial substances to repair the cells and tissues.
Mechanism of PRP
HA or hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the body in lubricating fluids around the joints.
The increased HA secretion has been found in the presence of platelet-rich rather than platelet-poor forms.
History of PRP
The blood cells of the patient in PRP injection have successfully been used in the world to treat the tendon injuries, bone repair, and the regeneration of athletes and sportspersons. The method is also used to treat nerve or heart muscle injury, tendinitis and oral or plastic surgery.
Now the new technique of PRP injection is being used to treat osteoarthritis in early stages. The method though similar is not exactly like stem cell therapy.
The PRP is derived from the blood of the patient after taking the sample from a vein and a liquid (plasma) containing mainly platelets is extracted from it.
The blood is concentrated by centrifugation and filtering, to get the platelets only. This platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the knee joint by ultrasound guidance of the needle.
These platelets are cell fragments that produce growth factors and other normal constituents involved in the repair process in the body. They contain other cytokines that are excellent in promoting the healing of bone and the repair of the body tissues.
In this case, the technique works on the principle of supplying large quantities of stimulants for regeneration into areas where there are wear and tear. It stimulates the healing in the most natural way by encouraging the body to repair the damaged cartilage in the knee and delays the surgery.
The PRP activates a high concentration of growth factors in arthritic cartilage through degranulation to decreases the symptoms and inflammation.
The Success Rate of PRP
This treatment in worn-out knees in the early stages of osteoarthritis was used in Spain.
In India, the work began in PGI Chandigarh in 2009 and the results are very positive.
The first study a study about PRP treatment in knees appeared in December 2010 issue of American Journal of Physical Medicines & Rehabilitation, showing a positive report after one year.
The instances of short-term reliefs are fairly decent, but the long term overall effects are unknown. It is not certain, how much repair occurs, as the PRP injected knees have so far not been operated.
If not ahead, the PRP treatment in India is abreast of international trends in the field.
The cost around 3,000 INR is involved in the PRP treatment of osteoarthritis, which however is minimal as compared to other more expensive therapies.
My mother got herself treated with PRP injection and now she wants the same treatment for her second knee. She has been greatly relieved of the pain in her knee,
This cost was prevalent in March 2016.
The Advantages of PRP
The main advantage is the absence of allergic reactions which commonly occur with the injections of synthetic drugs.
The PRP injection is synthesized from the blood of the patient.
The records of long-term significant gain are not available, but the majority of patients are ready to go for the next injection in the future after short-term pain.
The Risks Factors
About one-third of the patients reported fainting, dizziness, headache, nausea, upset stomach, sweating and increased palpitation.
Some patients reported pain, swelling, hot sensation and stiffness in the knee for a fortnight.
Conclusions of PRP Treatment
It helps in mild osteoarthritis and the knees that are severely worn out do not benefit from PRP injections.
The current evidence shows that PRP injections reduced pain more effectively and delayed the progression of osteoarthritis than placebo injections in the knees.
A significant effect on pain was seen in PRP injections as compared to the injections of HA or hyaluronic acid and NS or normal saline solution. The function improved significantly more when PRP injections were compared with other treatments.
As compared to NS and HA injections, the succession of multiple intra-articular PRP injections may be beneficial for adults with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knees at approximately 6 months.
The combination of PRP and HA may be beneficial due to their dissimilar biological mechanisms.
Individually in all the three compartments of the knee viz., medial, lateral and patellofemoral, the treatment improved pain, stiffness and function among 75% of the patients.
The loss of cartilage decreased, while the patients lose about 5% of knee cartilage every year.
The arthritis index or the pain calculated on the Visual Analog Scale got reduced by 40% to 60% in the period of 6 and 12 months respectively.
The functional scores improved by 25% in one year.
The daily living scores activity increased from 45% to 55% for 6 and 12 months respectively.
A change in magnetic resonance imaging or MRI of structural appearances was also reported.
Finger Snapping Causes Arthritis
It is a warning to those who are in a habit of snapping the fingers in free or idle time. It may lead to the painful condition of arthritis.
The bones are connected to each other with ligaments and the point where the two bones join is called a joint. While snapping the fingers, we are in reality pulling these joints and taking the bones away from each other. In this way, the bones joined to each other get separated and the internal pressure gets reduced.
A special liquid is found in the joints of fingers, elbow, and knees which act as a lubricant liquid to provide greasing between the moving bones in the joints and saves the bones from getting worn out.
With the decrease in the pressure on bones, gases like carbon dioxide, etc. fill in the empty space thus created, and the bubbles of liquid are formed. These bubbles burst when the joints are pulled apart.
Once the bubbles are burst, it takes 15 to 30 minutes for the new bubble to get formed again.
The repeated pulling of the joints weakens the grip of attached bones and the tissues present in the joints get destroyed too.
So the habit of snapping the bones could cause the problem of arthritis.
Exercises for Weak Knees
The pain in the knees or the problem of weak knees is caused by the injury in some accident or excessive pressure on the knees. The daily routines of life including walking, running, jogging or the ascending of stairs increase the pressure and the knees become weak.
Performing some exercises listed hereunder on a regular basis can strengthen the knees. The guidance of an expert physiotherapist is needed in the gym. The regular exercises prescribed by the physician or physiotherapist is beneficial, otherwise, more damage may occur.
The muscle stretching is the best option of exercise for knee pain or weak knees. The hamstring and is good for the knees. Lie down on the back, stretch the legs, fold one leg and press it towards the chest, till the pressure of the leg could be felt. Repeat with another leg alternatively 10 times for each leg.
Both the gym cycling and open cycling strengthen the feet, legs, and knees. It gives strength to the bones and muscles of the knees.
Step Up Exercise
Stepping or step up is a cardio exercise, that has several benefits including the strong knees. It heats up the knees and reduces the stress on the knees.
Certain mat exercises like leg lift, knee lift, etc., could be performed at home. These exercises stretch the muscles of the knees and reduce the pain of the knees.
Lie down on the mat and lift the leg about a foot from the floor without folding the knee and remain in this position for a while. Repeat 5-7 times with each leg. This exercise strengthens the knees.
Raise the leg and move it in a circle to make the formation of 0.
Control the Body Weight
The weight of the body should be maintained according to height, body structure, and age. For this purpose, the exercises under preventive physiotherapy are needed. The increased weight puts extra pressure on the hips and legs especially the knees.
Take a Break
Generally, a break of 5 to 10 minutes is needed after standing for more than an hour or so. Prolonged standing puts extra pressure on the knees and causes knee pain.
Shape of Shoes
The proper shape and type of shoes or slippers are also necessary. Different footwear should be chosen for office, trekking or gym. Tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes should be avoided.
Home Remedies for Weak Knees
1. Rub the peeled garlic over the sore and swollen joints for anti-inflammatory action and to reduce the pain.
2. The application of the massage of an oil containing camphor is best for all types of joint pains.
3. The intake of a few kernels of nuts in an empty stomach in the morning helps to get rid of knee pain.
4. Regularly eat the coconut kernel to get relief from knee pain.
The article provides general information available about the new technique to treat osteoarthritis. The information of interest is only for awareness and based on limited research.
The developments in subsequent improvements are not covered and the article is not a statement on safety and risks of the treatment.
We do not accept any liability, arising due to injury, loss or damage incurred by the use or reliance on the information.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Sanjay Sharma