what is osteo-arthritis
causes of osteoarthritis
symptoms of osteoarthritis
what can homoeopathy do
“the first few steps in the morning make me hold on to something for support” says mr. Ramanathan, a sixty year old. “ after the first few steps I can walk a distance” says another 55 year old. “it is not like before, every few paces, my knees refuse to go ahead and ask for a rest” refrains a housewife whose never-say-tired service for her family has left her with a sore back and crackling knees. Well then, here we are at that particular crossroads of life where the mind is willing but the body is limited by the pain in the joints.
What is osteo-arthritis?
Osteoarthritis (or degenerative joint disease, is one of the oldest and most common types of arthritis. It is characterized by the breakdown of the joint's cartilage. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide over one another. It also absorbs energy from the shock of physical movement. In osteoarthritis, the surface layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint.
Most commonly affecting middle-aged and older people, oa can range from very mild to very severe. It affects hands and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and the back.
Causes of osteoarthritis:
* the commonest cause of this kind of arthritis is aging. As the age advances the liquid portion of cartilage increases and the protein portion decreases. Due to repetitive movement of the joint over the years there is irritation and inflammation of the cartilage leading to breakdown and degeneration. This causes loss of cushion between the bones and the friction leads to pain and limitation of mobility in the joints.
* it is hereditary and sometimes runs in families.
* obesity with mechanical stress on the joints leads to early degeneration.
* diseases like gout in which there is deposition of crystals of uric acid leads to friction on the cartilage.
* hormonal disorders like diabetes also causes early degeneration.
* in women in the menopausal age where there is paucity of hormones which also have restorative function on bones and joints leads to rapid progression of osteo-arthritis.
* injuries of sport persons during their playing years find that they are more prone to this disease.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis:
+ pain of the affected joints.
+ swelling of the joints.
+ creaking sound from the joints on movement.
+ local warmth of the joint.
+ pain is usually on movement and as the disease progresses, pain is there on least movement.
+ sitting for sometime and starting to move will cause acute pain and is better by moving further.
+ inability to squat on the ground when hips and knees are affected.
What can homoeopathy do?
Homoeopathy has good remedies to control the pain, swelling, stiffness and creaking sound in the joints that form the main course of the disease. It has remedies to prevent further degeneration of cartilage thereby limiting the progression of the disease. Needless to say this system of medicine is one of the best suited for treatment of osteo-arthritis.
Rest, exercise and weight reductions go a long way in giving relief to the patient in day to day activities.