Osteoarthritis

INTRODUCTION

The human bone is the framework of the body. Any diseases that destroy the bone will surely affect the daily activities of a human person. Just like the condition of osteoarthritis, having this kind of condition is very painful on the part on the patient. That is why, careful care of the bones is very important in order to function normally.

These cares includes regular exercise, active lifestyle, good and balance diet and regular check up. However, once the disease in already acquired, just like having osteoarthritis, it is necessary to know the disease process so that you will understand why these certain manifestations happen and why these treatments are being given.

DEFINITION AND SYMTOMS

The condition of osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which it is a chronic non-inflammatory, slow progressing disorder that causes bone breakdown and deterioration of articular cartilage. Specifically, osteoarthritis affects weight-bearing joints like hips and knees, also the joints of the distal and proximal interphalangeal joints of the fingers.

Aside from that, this disease is a part of aging for it decreases the quality and the quantity of the proteoglycans in the articular cartilage. On the other hand, the typical symptoms of having osteoarthritis include stiffness that increase with activity and relieve by rest.

There is also worsening of pain; the affected joints may experience crepitus, deficits in the range of motion, mild tenderness in the area of joints wear and some joint enlargement. Aside from that evident of new bone growth in the hands are observed, the appearance of Heberden’s node and Bouchard’s node begins to appear. The symptoms of asteoarthritis appear to be asymmetrical rather than symmetrical manifestations.

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS

Newly evidence suggest that gene defects contribute to the early cartilage destruction, also genetic link has been found out that it is the primarily caused of Heberden’s node in the distal interphalangeal joints of the hands. Additionally, sex hormones and other hormonal factors believed to be an active part in the developing of osteoarthritis.

Also, history of fracture and other joint injury founds out to be a contributing factor in developing osteoarthritis. In this way, progressive wear and tear on cartilage leads to thinning of joint surface as well as ulceration into the bones. Later on, this will lead to inflammation of the joints and it will increases blood flow and hypertrophy of the subchondrial bone.

Furthermore, there is a formation of new cartilage at eh joints margin resulting in osteophytosis or bone spurs, which will later on alter the size and shape of the bone.

Generally, osteoarthritis affects adults, specifically on men than women, ages 50 to 90 years old.

TEST AND DIAGNOSTICS

Since there is no specific laboratory test has the capacity to confirm the presence of osteoarthritis, there are still tests that necessarily performed to rule out any other underlying condition.

This test includes x-ray procedure; it is done to view the affected joints which show joint space narrowing, osteophytes and sclerosis. Other test commonly performed is bone scan.

This shows affected uptake in affected bones. And also, some physicians extract synovial fluids in order to analyze and differentiate between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Magnetic resonance imaging is sometimes ordered to rule out meniscal injury.

In order to come up the correct diagnosis, complete data gathering regarding the objective factors of clinical manifestations are necessary in analyzing the possible correct diagnosis.

TREATMENT, DRUGS AND SUPPLEMENTS

The goals of osteoarthritis treatments are focus on conservative management. These include pain management with improvements or maintenance of mobility, maintenance on life quality and functional independence. In order to the manage pain, the use of no-narcotic analgesics such as Acetaminophen and mefenamic acid, these gives and analgesic effects.

There are medications that are combined with non-narcotic analgesic; these are potentially narcotic medications such as codeine, oxycodeine and hydro codeine. In addition to this, there are newly types of NSAIDS known as Cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors that include Refecoxib, Celecoxib and Meloxicam. One main action of these drugs is to block the prostaglandin which is responsible in inflammation process that is experience in osteoarthritis.

These medications are safer for stomach and also provide a new treatment of choice for people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, who cannot tolerate the no-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs because of gastrointestinal upset and also for the rest of bleeding.

Taking this kind of medications should take primary concerns especially on the renal functions, for it because renal impairments with long term used. If the patient is obese or overweight they are encourage to undergo weight loss in order to relieve stress on the joints because too much weight can strain and create trauma to the joints especially on the weight-bearing joints.

Viscosupplementation is another unique treatment option for knee osteoarthritis; these drugs are Hyaluronate and Hylan G-F 20 (Synvisc). The Hyaluronan, a polysaccharide that is a major component of synovial fluid, this can be administered through intraarticular injection into the knee. These medications help in restoring the elastroviscosity of the synovial fluid and also it provides relief of arthritic pain.

In order to improved mobility, patients with osteoarthritis are encouraged to follow a regular exercise regimen that will bring benefits to them. Furthermore, exercise stimulates cartilage growth, these works by driving synovial fluid through the cartilage matrix.

Since articular cartilage lacks blood vessels, the mechanical process of joint movements is essential to cartilage regeneration and continuous joint mobility. Also, regular exercise will protect joints directly by aiding in weight control. In addition to this, the best exercise to regularly practice is weight- bearing exercise because this leads to increases joint mobility and strengthens the joints supporting muscles, ligaments and tendons.

On the other hand, proper nutrition with decreased or limited intake of uric acid and alkaloid containing foods such as night shed foods like tomatoes and sweet potatoes will be helpful in alleviating the degree of the symptoms experience, good night sleep patterns and stress reduction can improve the wellbeing and the quality of life.

If the treatments are still not relieving the condition that brought by osteoarthritis, the surgical interventions is recommended. These interventions are considered also, once the pain becomes intolerable to patients and the mobility is severely compromised. These surgical interventions include debridement, osteotomy, joint fusion, arthroplasty and arthroscopy.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS

There are alternative therapies that are not non-pharmacological interventions that will relieve pain, promotes independence of daily activities and health maintenance.

In terms of relieving pain, patients with osteoarthritis always provide rest for those joints who are severely affected and damage, the used of splints, cervical collars braces, tractions and lumbosacral corsets are useful.

Application of heat can relieved muscle spasm and stiffness. Aside from that, have patient with osteoarthritis to have correct posture and body mechanics because postural alterations can lead to chronic muscle tensions and pain.

On the other hand, increased physical mobility includes teaching osteoarthritis patients to have range of motion exercise, this is to maintain joint mobility and muscle tone for joint support, prevent deformities and most of all, it prevent tendon tightening. Also, teaching isometric exercises and graded exercises can improve muscle strength around the involve joints. And the most important is, have activities that do not cause pain.

In promoting independence in activities of daily living, suggest to osteoarthritis patients to have morning activities in order to relieved stiffness, fatigue and pain. Always wear loose clothing, have rest periods in every activities of the day in order to avoid straining on the joints. And the most important is to have a dietary supplement that will be helpful in treating and managing osteoarthritis.

Food rich in Glucosamine provides building block for body’s to make as well as to repair cartilages and chondroitin is believed to contribute elasticity. Aside from that, SAM-e is a naturally contributes to the production of proteoglycans for cartilage repair.

Naturally the body makes all the SAM-e it needs, but these levels will decreases when it comes to aging, any deficients of vitamin B or methionine. Some osteoarthritis patients use herbal products because many of this herbal remedies affects platelet aggregation and can prolong bleeding time.

Remember that education is the key to achieving successful treatments, that is why before suggesting any remedies to osteoarthritis, be sure that osteoarthritis patients undergo health teachings so that they have an idea about the disease process as well as the treatment regimen.

COMPLICATIONS AND PREVENTIONS

Having an osteoarthritis condition, the complications that usually happens when the treatments is not anymore responsive are limitations of mobility. Also, neurologic deficits associated with spinal involvement and can also develop. Indeed, immobility is probably a major complication because this can affects the daily routine activities of a person.

If he/she cannot anymore functions in the environment, he/she will feel useless and will later on become depressed. In order to avoid this things to happen, encourage the patient to engage on exercises that will improve the joint functioning, thus preventing stiffness which can be a cause of immobility. Second, encourage patients to have adequate diet and sleep; this is to enhance general health.

And lastly, regular check up on condition provides a good data and proper screening for any underlying conditions and if any problems where found, then immediate treatment will be decided to take actions.

CONCLUSIONS

Therefore, osteoarthritis needs a thorough treatment management plan in order to preserved mobility and conserved the normal functions in order to sustain the normal functioning of the person, always follow your physician’s advice and follow the preventive measures suggested above in order to promote good health and mobility functions of the joints.

It is important to know what is osteoarthritis and how to avoid it because different age groups may experience having a degenerative arthritis. The other word of this health problem is a joint disease due to the fact that this is considered to be a group of involuntary anomalies which involve joint degradation. These also include subchondral bone and articular cartilage.

There are so many things that you can do to prevent osteoarthritis. However, it will still depend on your daily activities. This kind of ailment is a bone pain that cannot be prevented or avoided by certain individuals. People who are lifting and carrying heavy objects are prone to having osteoarthritis.

This is the main reason why you should be having passive or active exercises before doing all your activities for the day. Majority of the old people have this kind of disease. Even if they want to take medications, it will not be very effective for them because they already have lower immunity. Sometimes, there is no need to go exploring the murky waters of clinical trials and experimental treatments; you might have access to everything you need already.

The real question is whether or not your current treatment plan is working for you. There’s no need to live a life of suffering. Explore some of these options with your doctor and see if any of them are suitable for you. You have nothing to lose except the pain of living with arthritic joints and constant pain.