Today, approximately 3.6% of the world’s population are suffering from osteoarthritis. As per the experts, it is the most common type of arthritis found in patients.
Learn more about its cause and home remedies to cure Osteoarthritis pain naturally.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is also known as osteoarthrosis or degenerative arthritis. A joint disease caused by wearing away of the top layer of cartilage.
Cartilage is the tissue that covers the end of bones which helps in and is responsible for absorbing shock movements.
To remove your confusion, let me clear make your doubt. Osteoarthritis does not affect your internal organs unlike other forms of arthritis.
It’s a joint disease which reduces your motion and over the time the joint may lose its normal shape.
Osteoarthritis is derived from the Greek word part roster- meaning “of the bone,” arthritis- meaning “joint.”
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As you grow, the water content of the cartilage decreases. Over the years, the repetitive usage of our joints leads to flaking of cartilage, causing stiffness, pain and swelling.
In some severe cases, the cartilages are totally damaged. When the cartilages get damaged the bones rub against each other which limits its mobility.
Some more causes of osteoarthritis are stated below:
1. Diabetic Patients
People with diabetes are vulnerable to osteoarthritis. Other endocrine problems may also promote OA, including acromegaly, hypothyroidism and obesity.
Ageing is one of the leading causes of osteoarthritis. According to National Library of Medicine (NLM), most people show symptoms of osteoarthritis by the time they are 70 years old.
That doesn’t mean youth and children are not vulnerable, they can also suffer from aching joints pains, morning stiffness and limited mobility. Elderly people are more prone to this disease.
Yes, one day your obesity can create significant problems. Someone has correctly said excess of everything is bad.
Overweight is the starting point of many diseases and the list is never ending. It is also one of the leading causes of OA.
Excess weight causes much stress on your joints, especially the knee, back and hip. It can also result in cartilage damage which is the hallmark of OA. If you are overweight and feel regular joint pains then consult a dietician or start your weight reducing program today.
4. Your Job
Yes, your job can also be one of the causes of OA. OA is sometimes referred as “ wear and tear disease”.
If your job involves frequent climbing of stairs, squats, kneel and physical work, then you are vulnerable to osteoarthritis.
These activities give stress to your joints which result in wear and tear of your cartilages.
5. Sports Injuries
The trauma of previous sports injuries can lead to OA, especially in youth. Common injuries that may lead to OA are Tom cartilage, dislocated joints and ligament injuries.
As per the research published in current Opinion in Rheumatology, it was found that 41 to 51 percent of participants who suffered from previous knee injuries later showed positive reports of OA.
6. Gender Roles
As per the studies women patients of osteoarthritis are much more reported than men. Up to the age of 55 both males and females are equally informed, but after the age of 55 women patients are much more than men.
Just like many other diseases OA can be a carry forward disease from your forefathers. OA tends to run in families, especially if you have genetic joint defects.
Signs And Symptoms
Do you often feel the stiffness of joints early morning or limited mobility of your joints?
If the answer is yes, then get alarmed and book an appointment with a doctor. Following are the signs and symptoms for you to be cautious:
The most common symptom of OA is pain. It is a burning sensation or aching pain associated with the muscles and tendons (a tissue attaching muscle to bone). OA can cause carpets (a crackling sound) when the affected joint is moved or touched.
Stiffness is a warning sign of OA. After getting out of bed or sitting for a long time if you feel stiffness in your joints you must get yourself tested for OA. Swelling or tenderness is another warning.
3. Specific Joints
OA affects the following specific joints:
1. Fingers And Hands
Bone enlargements in the first joints of the fingers are common, these are called Heberden nodes.
Sometimes they can suddenly be swollen, red and painful. This usually occurs in the case of women after 45 years of age.
The second joint affected is the base of your thumb. If you feel pain in turning keys, opening the jars and while gripping this is a warning sign.
The hips are the weight-bearing joints of our body. Men are most vulnerable to hip osteoarthritis as the involvement of the hip is seen more in men than women, for example, farmers, construction workers and firefighters.
The knees are also the major weight-bearing joint of our body. Pain in the knee joint from an excess of squatting, frequent usage of stairs and kneeling can aggravate OA.
OA causes chronic lower back pain and it can also lead to degenerative discs.
Home Remedies For Osteoarthritis
Well, you are not aware that there are magical ingredients lying in your kitchen racks, that can help you to cure OA to some extent.
Don’t worry, I am going to guide you how to use these ingredients in a fruitful way so that it can reduce the pain caused due to OA.
1. Fish Oil
“Fish Oil” Being rich in omega 3 fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid is well known for reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, and for bone health. Fish oil also reduces the pain and swelling.
Its richness in various essential nutrients strengthens our bones, muscles and cartilage. All you have to do is take one tablespoon of fish oil regularly in the morning and before going to bed.
For ages, Turmeric is best known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
It contains an active compound known as “Curcumin” which has anti-arthritic properties, which destroys the free radicals in the body.
Follow this straightforward and efficient recipe to reduce the pain and swelling, heat one teaspoon of ghee in a pan.
When ghee gets hot, turn off the flame and to this add one tablespoon of turmeric powder and roast it.
Eat this mixture every morning and at night. The ghee will foster the strength of your bones and flexibility of your joints.
3. Dried Ginger
Just like turmeric, ginger is also filled with anti-inflammatory properties which are very helpful in relieving the pain and swelling of osteoarthritis.
Follow this recipe to reduce your pain, redness, and swelling and to increase your mobility.
Heat one teaspoon of ghee in a pan. When it becomes hot, add the dried ginger powder to it. Add some sugar in it and eat the mixture when it is still hot. Take this every morning. You will soon notice increased mobility of your joints.
Pineapple helps in healing the ligaments, tissues and tendons. Regular consumption of pineapple prevents further wear and tear of cartilages.
It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which reduce pain, swelling and stiffness. Regular consumption of pineapple is recommended for patients suffering from OA.
5. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids that foster bone health and flexibility. They reduce pain, swelling and stiffness just as mentioned above. Eat two tablespoons of flaxseeds with your regular cereals daily morning.
6. Heating Therapies
Heating therapies are the best to treat pain and swelling. Follow these simple steps to get rid of the pain.
- Apply heat for 2 to 3 minutes on the affected area using a hot bag, hot shower or a hot water bottle. Heat cures the pain, stiffness and swelling. Be cautious if you are using an electric heating pad.
- Try putting cold packs on the painful joints for 10 to 20 minutes.Do not put an ice pack barely on the skin.Use a thin towel or pillowcase between the ice and skin.
- Alternate between ice and heat application.
- After a hot and cold treatment, try some gentle massage to relax.
Harmful Effects Of Osteoarthritis On Your Health
How will Osteoarthritis harm my health? Every patient asks this question to his\her doctor. OA can negatively affect your health. Pain, swelling, limited mobility and side effects of medication can harm your health.
1.Diabetes And Cardiac Issues
When osteoarthritis affects the knee or the hip, the aching pain may lead to a slow lifestyle. This promotes weight gain and leads to obesity.
Being obese can result in the development of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
People suffering from OA are much more vulnerable to fractures and falls as compared to those without OA.
People with OA have decreased joint function, weak muscles and impaired balance which makes them more likely to fall. Pain relievers can make people feel dizzy and unbalanced.
3. Effects On The Different Parts Of the Body
Aching pain of OA is sometimes felt in the groin area and sometimes on the inside of the thigh.
A scraping sensation occurs when there is any movement in the knee as the cartilages are damaged.
Hands and fingers are most affected by OA. The ends of the fingers are usually swollen, tender and red due to bony growths.
Pain and tenderness are felt in the joints of the toe. Swelled toes and ankles are common effects OA.
Can Self-Management Help To Fight The Disease?
You can overcome any disease if you have a strong will power and dedication. Just like many other diseases, osteoarthritis can be treated but it cannot be finished completely.
Following some rules and regulations can reduce the impact of the disease. Following are some steps to promote healthy living and fight OA.
1. Regular Exercises
Exercising is always beneficial even in the case of OA. Moderate exercises of hip and knee can help to reduce your pain.
These exercises should be regular, at least thrice a week. Join arthritis treatment programs so that you can be completely and properly trained about the best exercise for OA. These exercises help to foster your limited mobility and it is effective, for the pain and swelling.
Choosing the most effective medication is very significant for patients. Patients can choose any form of medicine like allopathic medicines, homeopathic or Ayurvedic medicines, but it should be effective.
3. Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet can help a lot to reduce arthritis effects. Vitamin C is best for arthritis patients, especially fruits and vegetables.
Make sure your menu includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products as fat can harm your health, fish, meats, avocados and healthy oils like olive oil, walnut oil, canola oil.You should avoid high cholesterol refined oils.
4. Proper Sleep
A good sleep is very much essential for the systematic working of your body. To sleep better, follow a time schedule and keep away from distractions like television and computers.
5. Try Using Aids
Use joint supporting aids like braces, canes and splints for proper support and they also help in reducing pain. These aids make your everyday life much easier and comfortable.
6. Stay Positive
A positive attitude helps you to deal with any problem much strongly and confidently. Your mental outlook has a big impact on your feelings and your course of action.
Try developing new hobbies, spend time with friends and focus on abilities rather on your disabilities.
What Ayurveda says about Osteoarthritis? I have the answer for this question, but first, let me explain what exactly is “Ayurveda.”
In layman’s language, it is a traditional Indian medicine system, in which they cure diseases using herbal medicines, yogic breathing and balancing your diet.
According to Ayurveda , the prime reason that causes arthritis is by an excess of ama and lack of agni.
This can be resulting from poor digestion and a weakened colon.This results in the accumulation of undigested food and the buildup of waste matter.
Due to poor digestion, the harmful toxins accumulate in your body, and weakened colon allows these accumulated toxins to reach your joint.
According to Ayurveda following are the three categories of arthritis:
If arthritis is due to vata, your joints will crack and make a pop sound, they become dry and they do not swell.
If arthritis is due to pitta, the joints will become swollen and will be painful with limited mobility. This type is characterized by inflammation and looks red.
If arthritis is due to kapha, the joint becomes stiff and swollen, but it doesn’t feel hot like pitta rather it feels cold and calm. The movement doesn’t aggravate the pain, it usually tends to relieve.
Stages Of Arthritis In Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, Arthritis is defined in four stages. These stages are discernible with simple x-rays and accordingly your treatment can start. Following are the stages:
Stage one is associated with general wear and tear of joints due to deficiency of nutrients. At this stage, you can start feeling stiffness and discomfort. Your movement can be compromised.
Wear and tear of cartilage lead to actual “osteoarthritis” that begins in the second stage. It is accompanied with diminished joint space and synovial fluid.
The next level of decreased synovial fluid and joint space is even visible in X-rays.
When joint cartilage is completely destroyed then you are in the fourth stage.The Fourth stage is very painful with limited mobility, swelling and spikes come out of bones underlying the cartilage.
How Can Ayurveda Treat Arthritis?
As mentioned above, Ayurveda cures diseases using herbal medicines. Ayurveda believes if Kapha, vata, and Pitta go out of balance, then dosha slows down the Agni (digestive fire).
Ayurveda attempts to remove the ama(accumulated toxins) and bring it back to the colon.For this, we need to keep the colon clean.
To burn up the harmful toxins, Ayurveda opts for general techniques to increase the intensity of the digestive fire.
The various ways in which Ayurveda cures arthritis are:
1. Use Of Selected Foods And Herbs
Galangal and cayenne herbs are frequently used along with hot, spicy food and herbs.
2. Detoxification Diet
A detoxification diet for 3-6 days is often prescribed which includes only fruits, juices, and herbs.
This will continue until the body shows signs that the digestive fire is burning high. The signs are the return of appetite, a feeling of lightness and a transparent coating on the tongue.
3. Gemstone Therapy
Yes, gemstone therapy is also a part of Ayurvedic treatment. Ruby, garnet or other hot gem stones set in gold are used for curing all three types of arthritis.
4. Use Of Medicinal Oils
In Ayurvedic treatment, various medicinal oils are applied to your affected areas to detoxify, reduce the pain and restore the mobility.
Maha Narayan Oil is used for this purpose.It fosters flexibility, reduces the stiffness, muscle fatigue and begins to heal locally.
Post massage, heat treatments, yoga and exercises are very beneficial and fruitful for your health. Maha Narayan oil is good for muscle and joint pain and lower body circulation.
5. Heat Therapy
Heat therapy is also used in Ayurveda to cure arthritis. The patient is asked to sit in the sauna or use heat packs or electric heaters.
6. Use Of Herbs, Spices And Bitters
In Ayurveda a variety of herbs, spices and bitters are often applied externally or ingested. They cleanse the body and help in curing pain and stiffness.
Some of the commonly used herbs are mint, golden seal, eucalyptus, scute, aloe, guggul, myrrh, du hue and yucca.
Arthritis is a disease which cannot be cured completely, but definitely you can control it. Regular exercises, proper treatment, balanced diet and a healthy sleep can definitely help you to cure arthritis effects.
Maintaining a proper schedule is very necessary for a patient suffering from any disease. Along with your regular medicines, you can also follow the home remedies just to reduce the pain, swelling, and stiffness.
My last words, follow the path of positivity and focus on your abilities and strengths you will surely be healthy.