Doctor Secrets!


Osteoarthritis Help

Osteoarthritis Cause

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear of joints, most commonly knees, hips, fingers, and spine. Get a chicken bone leg. Pop the joint. You will see on the two ends that the bone is covered by a slick white gristle. That's cartilage. In osteoarthritis the cartilage has gradually worn away making the bones grind against each other. This damages the joint as the bones get eroded and roughen.

osteoarthritis cartoon

Osteoarthritis Help, Symptoms

  • Soreness in the arthritic joint with use and relief of pain with rest.
  • Enlargement and deformity of the osteoarthritic joint as it erodes away.
  • Cracking of arthritic joints with movement.
  • Gelling and stiffness of arthritic joints after a period of rest.
osteoarthritis knee osteoarthritis hands osteoarthritis toe


Osteoarthritis Help, Treatment

  • Keep hydrated. This keeps fluid in the joint helping to reduce rubbing and mechanical joint damage.
  • Avoid shocking joint movements like high jumps and holding vibrating machinery for long periods.
  • Use non-weight bearing exercises like swimming and biking to keep fit without placing undue load on joints.
  • Glucosamine may be helpful in mild osteoarthritis by providing joints with their reparative building block. It has not been found to be helpful in advanced osteoarthritis.
  • NSAID anti inflammtories like aspirin, ibuprofen and celecoxib taken as tablets by mouth daily or applied to the osteoarthritic joint by gel or solution reduce joint inflammtory reaction reducing pain.
  • Capsaicin - pepper extract - applied to sore arthritic joints exhausts their pain fibres reducing the sensation of pain.
  • SAMe, a dietary amino acid supplement, has been shown in preliminary studies to help reduce osteoarthritis pain.
  • Acetaminophen while not changing to course of osteoarthritis development, is a gentle pain reliever and generally well tolerated for long term use.
  • Cortisone joint injections which last 3-6 months can provide very effective relief of osteoarthritis pain.
  • Hyaluronic acid - artificial joint lube - injected into large joints e.g. knees has shown benefit in some arthritis sufferers.
  • Distraction braces can help treat osteoarthritis pain by slightly pulling the joint apart reducing friction.
  • Occupational / home assessment for joint aides such as jar opening levers and movement assistance such as stair lifts.
  • Interventions from physiotherapists, osteopaths, and chiropracters can be helpful treatment..
  • Severe cases of osteoarthritis can require surgical joint replacement especially knees and hips..

Reversing Osteoarthritis

Doctor Secrets! Mild osteoarthritis may be reversed by keeping hydrated, taking glucosamine supplements to provide your joint with it's building blocks for repair, and weight loss to reduce friction on your joints. Severe osteoarthritis can't be reversed unfortunately.

MLA Citation for School Reports, Links, and Presentations:
Helpful Links:

  • Wiki on Arthritis
  • CDC Arthritis Burden
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Arthritis Society
  • About Osteoarthritis


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    Last Updated:
    April 22 2016
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