Osteoarthritis Treatment and Osteoarthritis Pain Relief
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage manage OA well
Knee osteoarthritis, osteoarthritis hip and osteoarthritis of the spine result in
degeneration of these joints, causing pain and discomfort.
The treatment plan for osteoarthritis is a multi-disciplinary approach, comprised of medication, exercise, topical applications, massage, and dietary prescriptions.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is known as the degenerative joint disease. It is a form of arthritis (i.e. inflammation of the joint) and is caused by the degeneration of the joint cartilage. Cartilage plays a vital role in joint function. It provides protection to the ends of the bones by acting as a shock absorber. Without the cushioning cartilage, the two bones rub against each other, leading to pain, swelling, limitation of movement and deformity.
Causes of Osteoarthritis (OA)
The causes of OA are primary and secondary. Primary OA occurs due to aging. With age, the ability to restore and synthesize normal cartilage decreases, consequently resulting in arthritis.
Secondary OA is associated with certain predisposing factors, such as, inherited abnormalities in the joint structure or function, trauma, surgery, previous inflammatory disease of the joint and abnormal cartilage.
The onset of osteoarthritis is often subtle. The following are the presenting features of the joint disease:
- morning stiffness is usually the first symptom
- pain occurs; the pain is aggravated by prolonged motion and better by rest
- bone swelling and soft tissue swelling
- local tenderness
- cracking sounds on movement
- reduced movement
The most important aspect of OA management is achieving the ideal body weight. Over weight means increasing the stress on the weight bearing joints, namely, the knees, hips and spine.
Nutritionists say that the diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables, because their natural plant compounds protect against cellular damage, including damage to joints.
Foods that are particularly beneficial for OA are:
- Ginger: Ginger is packed with gingerols, which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Experts recommend consuming fresh ginger root rather that powdered ginger. Grate about half an inch of the herb and let it simmer in boiling water. Consume about 100 ml daily. Ginger soothes inflammatory processes and swelling effectively, thus alleviating pain, discomfort and improving the range of motion appreciably.
- Berries: Berries such as strawberries, gooseberries, blueberries and blackberries are loaded with flavanoids. Flavanoids are potent anti-oxidants that prevent damage to the joint and the cartilage. Consuming 100 grams of berries per day is advocated.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale belong to this family. These vegetables are rich in sulphur; and sulphur containing foods help manage OA efficiently.
Osteoarthritis Treatment with Aromatherapy Essential Oils
Massaging the affected joint with suitable aromatherapy oils has been known to be extremely beneficial for OA patients. Experts say Clove oil shows remarkable results in easing the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Small amounts of clove oil blended in to massage oils helps relieve stiffness, muscle pain and arthritic joint pain.
Blend 10 drops of clove oil in 15 ml of a carrier oil (coconut oil / almond oil / sesame oil) and massage the joint gently. Everyday massage yields swift results.
Exercises for Osteoarthritis
Exercise and physiotherapy is definitely recommended for osteoarthritis patients. Exercise prevents stiffness of the joint, improves the mobility and diminishes pain considerably.
The importance of physical therapy appears to be decidedly significant, especially, when administered daily.