Friday, 6 January 2017

Osteoarthritis In Elderly People

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of ageing. It is the most common type of arthritis. Usually men and women of over 50 years of age suffer from OA.  OA mostly occurs in people who are obese, have joint injury, or hormonal imbalances. This is the leading cause of disability in aged people. OA may affect any joint in your body, especially weight bearing joints as they undergo more wear and tear like the osteoarthritis knee which bears the body weight to significant amount. It is also known as degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis mainly causes pain and inflammation in the affected joints.

Osteoarthritis symptoms and treatment

Symptoms & Signs
Pain -Your joint may hurt during or after movement
Tenderness -Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.
Stiffness -Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
Loss of flexibility -You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
Grating sensation -You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
Bone spurs -These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint.
Joint deformity – This affects person's manner of walking.

When to see a Doctor
When you feel any of the above symptoms which affects your daily activities, it’s time to see a doctor and get some osteoarthritis treatment.

What happens to the Joints and Cartilages as you Age? 
Cartilage is a connective tissue that covers the end of bones and absorbs pressure and shock created by movements like walking, running, climbing steps etc. As we keep on doing our day to day activities throughout the life, obviously, it undergoes wear and tear which in turn leads to the destruction of cartilaginous tissues. As the cartilage deteriorates, adjacent bone surface comes in direct contact which results in pain. Not only the destruction of cartilages, but also the reduction of synovial fluid, which gives lubrication, nourishment, and cushioning causes OA. As the disease go on progressing, the bone surface begins to thicken and forms osteophytes, which also aggravates the pain and inflammation.

If so what are the Triggering Factors
As we see, every elderly person may not get the disease. Why? Because the disease is triggered by certain other things which differ from person to person. Wait, I can abate your doubts. Those factors are excess weight, family history of OA, gender, occupation, life style, digestion, trauma etc. It’s always better to make hay while sun shines. So, keep a healthy weight as well as follow a healthy diet and exercise for prevention of different types of arthritis and rheumatism.

What if i am Suffering from OA?
OA does not get a complete cure. Instead, we can manage the pain and further progression of the disease to a greater extend. Initial step is to reduce pain and inflammation by medicine, incorporating simple movement exercises, some other external therapies, reducing the contributing causes, and proper rest before going for any surgical procedure.

Simple exercises are important as the saying goes like “rolling stone gathers no moss”. Switch down the exercise pattern like running to walking and swimming, yoga etc. Apply hot bag to the affected joints. Give adequate rest for the painful joints. Losing some amount of weight helps to decrease the symptoms. 

Arthritis treatment also includes bone removal procedures for reducing the size of spur. Bone fusion may be suggested for severely deteriorated joints. The last resort in allopathic medicine is total joint replacement.

In Ayurveda, we can correlate the disease as Sandhigatha Vaatha. The treatment modalities include dhanyamla dhara, podikkizhi, ilakizhi, abhyanga and swedana, lepana, thaila dhara, njavara kizhi, and janu vasthi. Ayurveda offers many herbal treatments as internal medication too. These plants have an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic property which reduces the vitiated Vaatha Dosha and gives proper nourishments to the joint and body. Ayurvedic healing includes the practice meditation along with medicine as it keeps the body in normality and reduces the physical changes like inflammation and pain.

If you are suffering from any such condition, get expert advice and treatment for quick recovery. CLICK HERE to book appointment with Dr. Ramya Deepak

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