Osteoarthritis (OA) of knee is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is a chronic condition in which the material that cushions the joints, called cartilage, breaks down. Osteoarthritis may be initiated by multiple factors, including genetic, metabolic and traumatic, they involve all of the tissues of the joint.
Clinical osteoarthritis is characterized by joint pain, tenderness, limitation of movement, crepitus, occasional effusion and variable degrees of inflammation. Most physicians diagnose knee osteoarthritis not only by the symptoms, but by the radiological findings.
Although osteoarthritis (or OA) is more common as we age, it is not an inevitable part of aging. As we work to understand causes of osteoarthritis, we are able to offer advice to help prevent the disease or its progression and lessen its impact on your life. Here are four steps you can take now to prevent osteoarthritis or its progression.
First step is to control weight-If you are at a healthy weight, maintaining that weight may be the most important thing you can do to prevent osteoarthritis. If you are overweight, losing weight may be your best hedge against the disease. Being overweight strains the joints, particularly those that bear the body's weight such as the knees, hips, and joints of the feet, causing the cartilage to wear away. Continue reading below... Weight loss of at least 5% of body weight may decrease stress on the knees, hips, and lower back If you already have osteoarthritis, losing weight may help improve symptoms.
Second Step is Exercise- If the muscles that run along the front of the thigh are weak than you have an increased risk of painful knee osteoarthritis. Fortunately, even relatively minor increases in the strength of these muscles, the quadriceps, can reduce the risk.
If fear of joint pain after exercise keeps you from exercising, try using heat and cold on painful joints or take pain relievers, which may make it easier to exercise and stay active. The safest exercises are those that place the least body weight on the joints, such as bicycling, swimming, and other water exercise.
Third step is Avoid injury to joint or get treated - Suffering a joint injury when you are young predisposes you to osteoarthritis in the same joint when you are older. Injuring a joint as an adult may put the joint at even greater risk. People who injured their knee as an adult had a five times greater risk of osteoarthritis in the joint.
Fourth Step is to Eat Right- Although no specific diet has been shown to prevent osteoarthritis, certain nutrients have been associated with a reduced risk of the disease or its severity. They include:
Omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats reduce joint inflammation, while unhealthy fats can increase it. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish oil and certain plant/nut oils, including walnut, canola, soybean, flaxseed/linseed, and olive.
Vitamin C. Good source of vitamin C in your diet by eating green peppers, citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe.
Vitamin D. Sunlight is the good source of Vitamin D. You can also get more vitamin D in your diet by eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, and herring; vitamin D-fortified milk and cereal; and eggs.
If you already have osteoarthritis, these same steps can be useful for reducing pain and other symptoms. In addition, there are many treatments. They range from over-the-counter pain relievers to injections of corticosteroids or Hyaluronic acid and, eventually, surgery to replace the painful, damaged joint.
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