Osteoarthritis of Knees (OA)

What is Osteoarthritis of Knees (OA) / Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) / Osteoarthrosis:-

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that causes the cushion layer between your bones (called cartilage) to wear away. It can affect any joint in your body, and it is the most common type of arthritis.

OA is a type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joins.

Cartilage is a protein substance that serves as a “cushion” between the bones of the joints. Among the over 100 different types of arthritis conditions, osteoarthritis is the most common, affecting over 20 million people in the United States.

Before age 45, it occurs more frequently in males. After age 55 years, it occurs more frequently in females. A higher incidence exists in the Japanese population, while South African blacks, East Indians, and Southern Chinese have lower rates.

Osteoarthritis of knees (OA) or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) or osteoarthrosis.

Homoeopathic Treatment

There is no full proof conventional treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) Palliative processes like pain killers which are frequently prescribed results in lot of side effects. Some of the conventional or allopathic medicines used for treatment and there side effects are as follows :

  • Acetaminophen: Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can relieve pain, but doesn’t reduce inflammation. Acetaminophens can cause liver damage.
  • NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. NSAID side effects include ringing in your ears, cardiovascular problems, and liver and kidney damage.
  • Tramadol: Tramadol (Ultram) is a centrally acting analgesic that’s available by prescription. Tramadol has no anti-inflammatory effect, but can provide pain relief. Tramadol may cause nausea and constipation.
  • Stronger painkillers: Stronger pain killers such as codeine and propoxyphene (Darvon) may be prescribed by allopathic physicians. Side effects include nausea, constipation and sleepiness.
  • Surgery: In severe cases surgery is required which is a physical, mental and a financial trauma to the patient.

In contrast homoeopathy can offer good relief to patients with osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease especially those in the early stages of the disease. The medication can help in controlling pain as well as improving the mobility of the joints. Most patients notice a reduction in the pain and stiffness after commencing homoeopathy treatment with improved mobility of the joints.

Since osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition, it may not be possible to reverse the changes that have already occurred at the microscopic level on the joints but it is possible to slow down the further progress of the condition with the appropriate remedies. Nothing like this can be achieved with allopathic / conventional medicines.

In advanced cases, symptoms can be palliated / suppressed with homoeopathic medicines thus saving you from a surgeon’s knife.

An important point to be noted about homoeopathic treatment is that the medicines can be continued for a long period (which is required on OA cases) without worrying about any side effects. The medicines are completely safe, non-toxic and non habit forming.

At the Division of Geriatric Medicine in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, a study clearly demonstrated that homoeopathy medicines show positive response in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

How homoeopathy helps

  • The medicines help to reduce pain, swelling and improve the mobility of the affected joint by improving the blood supply to the affected knee.
  • The remedies prevent the further damage to the knees thus improving the quality of life of a patient.

There are 353 homoeopathy medicines which give great relief in osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease (DJD) or osteoarthrosis. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the doctor. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus homoeopathic remedies are designer made unlike allopathy in which all patients receive the same surgery or drugs although trade name may be different.

 

Classification and Causes

Osteoarthritis (OA) can be classified into primary or secondary osteoarthritis depending upon the cause of OA:

  • Primary Osteoarthritis (OA)

Primary osteoarthritis is mostly related to aging. With aging, the water content of the cartilage increases, and the protein makeup of the cartilage degenerates. Eventually, cartilage begins to degenerate by flaking or forming tiny crevasses.

In advanced cases, there is a total loss of cartilage cushion between the bones of the joints. Repetitive use of the worn joints over the years can irritate and inflame the cartilage, causing joint pain and swelling. Loss of the cartilage cushion causes friction between the bones, leading to pain and limitation of joint mobility.

Inflammation of the cartilage can also stimulate new bone outgrowths (spurs, also referred to as osteophytes) to form around the joints. Osteoarthritis occasionally can develop in multiple members of the same family, implying a hereditary (genetic) basis for this condition.

  • Secondary Osteoarthritis (OA)

Secondary osteoarthritis is caused by another disease or condition. Conditions that can lead to it include obesity, repeated trauma or surgery to the joint structures, abnormal joints at birth (congenital abnormalities), gout, diabetes, and other hormone disorders.

Heredity plays an important role. Members of a family are seen to be more effected than people without a family history.

  • Symptoms & Signs
  • Severe knee pain that limits your everyday activities, including walking, going up and down stairs, and standing up from a chair. You may find it hard to walk more than a few blocks without significant pain and you may need to use a cane or walker.
  • Moderate or severe knee pain while resting, day or night.
  • Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that doesn’t improve with rest or medications.
  • Knee deformity (a bowing in or out of your knee).
  • Knee stiffness (inability to bend and straighten your knee).
  • A crunching or grinding sound (crepitus or crackling) during the movement of the joint.

Osteoarthritis (OA) causes the formation of hard, bony enlargements of the small joints of the fingers. Classic bony enlargement of the small joint at the end of the fingers is called a Heberden’s node, named after a very famous British doctor. The bony deformity is a result of the bone spurs from the osteoarthritis in that joint.

Another common bony knob (node) occurs at the middle joint of the fingers in many patients with osteoarthritis and is called a Bouchard’s node. Osteoarthritis of the joint at the base of the big toe of the foot leads to the formation of a bunion.

Diagnosis

There are no blood tests for the diagnosis. Blood tests are performed to exclude diseases that can cause secondary osteoarthritis, as well as to exclude other arthritis conditions that can mimic osteoarthritis.

X-rays: X-rays of the affected joints can suggest osteoarthritis. The common X-ray findings include loss of joint cartilage, narrowing of the joint space between adjacent bones, and bone spur formation.

Joint fluid analysis: A small quantity of fluid from the affected joint may be removed (arthrocentesis) for testing in a laboratory. It can detect any infection or the presence of gout which can also cause knee pain.

Arthroscopy: This is a procedure in which a tiny camera is used to visualize the interior of the joint. During arthroscopy, small incisions are made around the joint and a tiny camera is inserted to see the inside of the joint as well as to repair any abnormality that may be found.

Diet

  • Appropriate levels of vitamin C, D, E, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids have protective properties against osteoarthritis.
  • Dietary carotenoids like beta-cryptoxanthine, lutein and lycopene, found in orange and green vegetables and tomatoes reduce the risk of knee osteoarthritis. However, delta and gamma tocopherols, found in soyabean, palm, and other oils, double the risk of knee osteoarthritis.
  • Herbs such as curcumin are good for reducing inflammation.
  • Fresh pineapple has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Avoid adrenal stimulants such as tea, coffee, sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks such as coke, pepsi and so on due to their phosphoric acid content.