How To Fight Pain Associated With Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is characterized by pain in the joint, stiffness, and even loss of movement. It is a degenerative joint disease and slowly evolves as part of the aging process. Osteoarthritis has been around for a very long time, going back as far as the dinosaur bones and Egyptian mummies which show evidence of the disease. The disease is classified as a non-inflammatory type of arthritis; but recent research shows this not to be true. Early on in the disease inflammation is usually not a problem; but as the cartilage starts to wear away and fragment, the loose pieces of cartilage cause an immune response and inflammation.
Osteoarthritis can be caused by an injury to the joint, repetitive strain on a joint, or it can be passed on through our genes. The joints most commonly affected with the disease are the hands, the hips, the lower back, knees and the big toes. Pain is the most predominant feature of osteoarthritis. Early in the disease, pain will accompany movement, is aggravated by prolonged activity, and can be made better with rest. Pain is often caused by stretching of the lining of the bone at the sites of new bone growth. The pain could also be from nerve irritation or compression.
Stiffness is another symptom that people with Osteoarthritis suffer. Usually stiffness occurs in the morning when you get up. Swelling occurs when the cartilage is damaged,and is associated with inflammation, heat, and redness. Deformity of the joints is another symptom of osteoarthritis. Deformity is most often noticed in the hands. The bony enlargement of the joint of a finger is called a node. It usually begins as a swelling like a cyst filled with jelly like material. They can become inflamed and painful; and once the inflammation has settled, they stop hurting and become hard and bony. There are also deformities of the knees and the big toe as well; this is the common bunion.
The goal here is to try to manage your joint pain by getting the proper amounts of rest. Taking breaks is very important so that you are not excessively overworking a sore joint to the point of having pain. If you are experiencing pain, stop and take a break.
You could do some aerobic exercises in warm water at your local gymnasium. Quite often they have instructors and the classes are a lot of fun. Doing exercise in water is low-impact and does not put stress on the joints, but at the same time, increases flexibility and mobility. Any form of aerobic exercise is going to strengthen the muscles and the joints. The most important thing that you can do for osteoarthritis is to get regular exercise for at least three days per week and for a duration of thirty minutes.
Incorporate omega 3 Fatty acids into your diet. Clinical tests have shown omega 3's to have anti-inflammatory properties. Eating a balanced diet of fruit and vegetables; fish, such as salmon and tuna; while avoiding processed foods which contain high doses of sugar and salt. Maintaining a healthy body weight is another measure of importance as obesity puts extra stress on the joints and can contribute to your pain and inflammation.
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Irene Fowler-Sharpe is one of Natural Medicines leading consultants. Always fascinated and intrigued by the results this area of expertise can bring; my consulting goes back to 1987.
It's my passion to help people and the love of giving back to others the knowledge I have gained through my research that makes life so interesting.
Added: 16 марта 2011
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