Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis affection many individuals worldwide. Although it can be seen any age, adults are suspected to get affected. OA is regarded as degenerative joint disease.
When two bones come together it is called as joint. The ends of bones are covered with protective tissue known as cartilage. In case of OA, these cartilages break down, which cause the bones to rub each other resulting in pain, stiffness and other associated symptoms. OA can affect any joint but most commonly in knees, hands, hips and spine.
The symptoms of OA, can be managed through medical intervention which will protect further degeneration. Maintaining healthy weight, staying active and proper medication will reduce the progress of the disease.
• Obesity – Obesity is one of the main reasons for this degenerative disease. Due to overweight, more pressure is applied over knees and hip joints which results in wear and tear.
• Lack of Sufficient Nutrition – Due to nutritional deficiency the joints tend to develop osteoarthritis
• Increased Joint stress – Increased pressure in the weight bearing joints increases the risk of OA. Using high heels in women can aggravate the condition. Dancers and sports person who undergo vigorous training are also under high risk category.
• Joint Injuries – Any injury that occurred during any activity or accident that affected the joints is another main cause for OA.
• Hereditary – People who have OA in their family are under high risk
• Age – As the age progresses, the chances of degeneration would be high.
• Gender- Studies found, females are more prone to get affected with OA after an age of 50.
• Genetics – Genetically few individual inherit a chance to develop osteoarthritis.
• Bone deformities – People who have any malformed joints or cartilage problems are more likely to be affected with OA
• Associated diseases – Individuals suffering from diabetes, rheumatic diseases, and gouty arthritis has an increased risk of getting OA.
• Pain – Severe pain in the joints mostly associated with burning sensation are the most common symptom of osteoarthritis. Pain may constant or occurs occasionally while doing any activity.
• Tenderness in the joints is experienced while pressure is applied over the joint.
• Stiffness in the joints – The joints get stiff due to inactivity. It can be either due to inactivity or while getting up after sleep.
• Loss of flexibility in the joints
• Muscle weakness – The muscles around the affected joints generally gets weaker. This is most commonly seen in the knee joints.
• Inflammatory signs in joints – Swelling are not very common but in few cases mild swelling can be seen.
• Deformity in the joints – Joints tends to lose its normal shape when the condition is worsened.
• Decreased mobility of the affected area – The natural movements in the joints will gradually reduce. As it progresses the symptoms get worse and cannot bend, flex or extend the joints. Due to this decreased activity the range of mobility is further affected.
• Cracking sounds from the joints – Joints make cracking sounds while walking or climbing stairs.
• Insomnia – Due to unbearable pain and stiffness, the quality of sleep may be compromised.
• Spinal stenosis – This is a condition where there is narrowing of spaces within the spine. Due to this pressure is generated which causes pain, weakness, and numbness.
• Spur formation – Rarely there may be extra growth over the bones around the affected area.
• Other symptoms may include – heaviness in the body, loss of appetite, warm and numb joints, occasionally fever.
Ayurveda considers OA as Sandhigata vata which happens due to aggravation of vata dosha. These aggravated vata due to various reasons lodges in the sandhis (joints) and leads to sandhigata vata.
Ayurveda treatments of OA, prevents further deterioration of joints and protects the cartilages. Various treatments are mentioned in Ayurvedic classics that help to heal this condition and strengthens the joints.
- Fruits and Vegetables – It certainly isn’t shocking that fruits and vegetables are excellent options for improving your wellbeing. They contain antioxidants which reduce body inflammation. They are also high in fiber, helping your digestive health and filling you up faster.
- These fruits and vegetables are particularly rich in antioxidants which fight inflammation, according to experts: Berries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Citrus fruits, Papaya, Pumpkin, and Sweet Potatoes
- The fatty acids Omega-3 which is found in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, soil flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts, omega-3 fatty acids help to neutralize body inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids can also help lower the body’s amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which isn’t as good for us. Aim for two 3 to 4 ounce portions of fatty fish a week to help boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids
- Nuts. Walnuts, almonds and pistachios are good to control inflammation as it contains monosaturated fats. Nuts are also rich in vitamin E, magnesium and fiber.