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Osteoarthritis and Equip Yourself to
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It is also referred to as Hypertrophic osteoarthritis;
Osteoarthrosis; Degenerative joint disease; DJD; OA; or Arthritis –
Specifically; this chronic disease causes the
cushioning (cartilage) between the bone joints to wear away, leading to
pain and stiffness. It can also cause new pieces of bone, called bone
spurs, to grow around the joints.
In the examples below the cartilage that cushions
the bones of the hip and knee joints starts to erode, eventually
allowing the bones to grind or rub together and causing hip pain and
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Categories of Osteoarthritis (OA):
OA can be classified as Primary or Secondary:
Secondary OA results from another disease or underlying
condition. The most common causes of secondary OA are metabolic
conditions, such as acromegaly, problems with anatomy (for example,
being bow-legged), injury, or inflammatory disorders like septic
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Heberden's Nodes are hard
growths (caused by bone spurs) which most often develop in the joints
closest to the tips of the fingers or toes. They start to develop in
middle age and begin with a swelling of the affected joints along with
the painful onset of redness, numbness, followed by stiffness. When the
inflammation subsides the patient is left with a permanent bony
outgrowth that may skew the joint sideways.
• Heberden's nodes are more common in women than in men
• There appears to be a genetic (hereditary) component that defines a
persons predisposition to this condition.
nodes are similar bony growths and may also be present; but
they affect the middle joints of the fingers.
When you injure a joint you need to give it what it needs to get
Being over weight also increases the risk for
developing Osteoarthritis in the knees, and possibly in the hips and
hands. You should endevour to maintiain a healthy weight.
Combating Osteoarthritis most often involves a multi pronged
treatment approach based on your specific case that may or may not
Natural Supplementation: (click
this link to learn more)
As our bodies age they lose some of their natural ability to
produce the nutrients required to repair joint injuries and maintain
healthy joints. Natural supplements offer many short term and long term
benefits that have proven to be an invaluable addition to any joint
this link to learn more)
Much research is continuing into the links between what you
eat and your Osteoarthritis. From the research evidence so far, we
recommend that you should: • Pay close attention to portion
size at every meal and only eat when you are hungry
• Drink plenty of water and avoid beverages that are high in caffeine
• Eat less sugar and fat, especially saturated fat, and try to use
olive oil in your diet
• Eat more fruit and vegetables, especially brightly coloured varieties•
Eat plenty of calcium and iron rich foods
Exercise & Stretching: (click
this link to learn more)
A regular exercise and stretching regimen is important to
keep the body moving and flexible. It helps to enable movement through
the reduction of the related pain, maintain and increase range of
motion, reduce fatigue, and it helps you look and feel better.
Rest is a very important and integral component of any Joint pain
management plan. Getting from 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night and
taking naps during the day will give your joints time to recover from
damage and may even help reduce the number of flair-up recurrances.
Apply Heat or Cold:
Use of heat or cold over joints may provide short-term relief from pain
Pacing helps protect your joints by alternating periods of
activity with periods of rest so that your joints don't tire from the
stress of repeated tasks.
Massage and/or Physical Therapy:
Massage treatments and Physical Therapy have been proven to
increase circulation and decrease tension throughout the body. Aside
from feeling great, the beneficial effects of a physical manipulation
will help you relax, improve your mental fitness and help you forget
about your joint troubles for awhile. There are certified therapists
that specialize in Arthritic pain relief therapies who can visit you on
a regular basis.
Splints and braces can sometimes support weakened joints.
Some prevent the joint from moving; while others allow some movement.
You should use a brace only when your doctor or therapist recommends
one. The incorrect use of a brace can cause joint damage, stiffness,
Maintain Good Posture:
When standing, keep your legs shoulder width apart for
balance and optimum support. Keep your shoulders back to reduce stress
in your lower back. When seated, make use of a small pillow to support
your lower back and keep your knees and hips at a 90 degree angle
Try not to stay seated for long periods of time. If you must
remain in one place for more than 30 minutes at a time, be sure to
shift your weight around and stretch to keep your joints from becoming
stiff and sore.
Proactive Joint Protection:
Protect your joints by learning to use them in ways that:
In practice this means you should lift with your
legs before you use your back, lift at your shoulders before you lift
at your elbows, push with you elbows before pushing with your wrists,
The second way to protect your joints is to use load bearing assistive
devices such as a cane or a brace.
Lastly, by maintaining a healthy weight will you
will ease joint pain by reducing the stress on your joints.
Surgery to replace or repair damaged joints may be needed in
severe, debilitating cases.
Mental “Self Help” Skills:
While it can be tough, doing your best to keep a positive mental
attitude and outlook is very important to the success you will achieve
in living with and combating Osteoarthritis to maximize your quality of
Great strides continue to be made in this area and
it’s important that you keep up to date with respect to the progress,
events and new options that are continually being brought to the
forefront of Osteoarthritis pain management and treatment.
Additionally, you can better manage how Osteoarthritis affects you
emotionally by talking about your experiences and feelings with family
members and friends, by doing mental exercises to keep the brain sharp,
and by joining your local Arthritis support group.
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