Break free from the pain associated with Osteoarthritis
With an estimated 151.4 million people globally suffering from osteoarthritis, the leading cause of knee pain, these are numbers that speak for themselves. In the National Survey of Senior Citizens in Singapore, bone and joint disorders were the most commonly reported medical ailments and a local study rates osteoarthritis (OA) as the fifth leading cause of disability burden for males and females.
Osteoarthritis is a crippling condition of the knee for which there has until now been no remedy. To the layman, Osteoarthritis is called the “wear-and-tear” kind of arthritis. In fact, Osteoarthritis is such an old condition that scientists have found evidence of osteoarthritis in ice-aged skeletons. Despite the longevity and frequency of the disease, the cause is still not completely known and there is no cure. Hence, most sufferers face a lifetime of pain and disability. They had little choice but to consume painkillers or, in some cases, undergo total knee replacement surgery.
However, many different factors may play a role in whether or not you get Osteoarthritis, including age, obesity, injury or overuse and genetics. Your osteoarthritis could be caused by any one or by a combination of any these factors. As the condition involves the breakdown of the joint’s cartilage, there is no cushion to prevent the bones from rubbing each other. Hence sufferers, experience stiffness, pain and loss of movement of the joint.
There are several stages of osteoarthritis and these include: cartilage losing elasticity and is more easily damaged by injury or use; bony growths called spurs may develop near the end of the bone of the affected joint; bits of space; the joint lining (synovium) becomes inflamed; affect the shape and makeup of the joint so that it doesn’t function smoothly which makes walking upstairs sheer torture, to name a few.
But having no cure doesn’t mean you don’t need to see a specialist doctor. It is important to consult and understand what the doctor might offer to ease the pain. Help is on the way though, simply by modifying certain risk factors that are important for Osteoarthritis prevention.
Maintain your ideal body weight
It’s been scientifically proven that the force of three to six times a person’s body weight is exerted across the knee while walking. Thus, being 10 pounds overweight increases the force of the knee by 30 to 60 pounds with each step made. Losing weight can certainly reduce stress on your joints.
Don’t shun the truth that performing 30 minutes of moderately strenuous exercises at least five days a week is good for optimal joint and bone health. your heart also benefits from regular exercise so it’s better to get some exercise as opposed to no exercise.
Protect your joints
Conserve your energy and preserve joint function simply by being mindful about proper movements and posture.
Avoid repetitive stress on the joints
Our bodies do not like repetitive movements or any activity with awkward motion and incorrect posture. Overexertion and muscle fatigue doesn’t bode well on your joints, too. If your occupation involves repetitive movements, you might want to reassess it. Try to find solutions at your workplace to avoid prolonged periods of repetitive stress.
Listen to your pain
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that’s something is wrong so always listen to it.
Balancing rest and activity is clearly optimal for health joints. Adopt self-management rules to prevent yourself from over-working your joints and not pushing past your limits. Recognising pain will always prevent you from getting further injury.
Avoid injury to joints
Previous joint injury is recognised as a common cause of osteoarthritis. In joints burdened by improper alignment due to injury, articular cartilage wears away and osteoarthritis can begin to develop. Avoid injury if at all possible – and if you do injure a joint, seek treatment immediately.