Osteoarthritis – How to Treat it

Osteoarthritis – How to Treat it

Arthritis, a disease of the joints, causes swelling and tenderness in the joints. The most prominent symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which worsen with time. Arthritis is of two types: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis. It affects people when their joints are overused. Although this condition mostly affects people when they reach old age, it can also occur due to joint injuries or obesity, as they cause excess stress on the joints.

One’s knees, hips, feet, and spine are most likely to feel the pain as these bear the most weight. These are also the most common joints to be affected by osteoarthritis. Healthy joints have a coating of cartilage that’s tough yet smooth and slippery. These cartilages cover the surface of the bones and allow the bones to move freely against each other. However, in osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes thin and the surface becomes rough, which prevents the joints from moving freely. Osteoarthritis can affect the joints of the neck, lower back, hips, the base of the thumb, ends of fingers, knees, and the base of the big toe.

Treatment and medication
The treatments of osteoporosis include medications and lifestyle changes. Medication used in osteoporosis slows the breakdown of bones and rebuilds them so that they are stronger. This, in turn, stops the breakage. The medication used in osteoporosis also effectively maintains bone density that prevents the bones from breaking.

Medication alone cannot treat the condition and must be accompanied by lifestyle changes that include regular exercise, intake of a nutritious diet, and limiting or quitting alcohol and all kinds of intoxication.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis can also be treated by some home remedies.

  • Thermotherapy
    Thermotherapy is an effective home remedy that osteoarthritis patients can incorporate. This therapy involves the usage of hot and cold compress that is used when patients experience acute pain. Patients with chronic osteoarthritis are often asked by their doctors to take thermotherapy often, as it provides relief with moist heat.
  • Epsom salt bath
    Another effective remedy that provides an overall relief, especially joint pain, is an Epsom salt bath. The magnesium content in the Epsom salt causes pain relief and reduces inflammation. Epsom salt is easily accessible and can be bought from any local drugstore. These baths are safe even if one takes them as often as they prefer for 30 minutes each time. To take an Epson bath, add two cups of the salt to warm water at a temperature of 102°F.
  • Natural remedies
    Natural remedies like consuming green tea, ginger, and turmeric can prove to be significantly effective. Green tea contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory properties. It not only reduces inflammation but also the need for medications. Green tea is also believed to increase cartilage protection, making its consumption an effective home remedy.

    Additionally, turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin that fights the inflammatory compounds in the body. This helps reduce pain, stiffness, and osteoarthritis flare-ups.

    In addition to that, ginger is also useful to reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis. When ginger is consumed for over a long period, it decreases the risk of disability caused by arthritis. However, ginger is beneficial only when used in moderation, as excess consumption can cause side effects like diarrhea, heartburn, and diarrhea.

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