Osteoarthritis: how to behave

Osteoarthritis is the most common articular pathology: among the causes also predisposing factors, such as diabetes and overweight.

L ‘ Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease: among the causes also predisposing factors such as diabetes and overweight.

The first signs of the advancing age usually appear after the age of 50: some white hair, the very hated “crow’s feet”, and sometimes a discomfort in the joints. Fault in the latter case of cartilage that thins, causing the typical disorders of arthrosis.

How to recognize it

The pain characteristic of arthrosis increases in intensity while using the joint, or immediately after. It can be accompanied by difficulty in moving, stiffness of the joint (especially on morning awakening) and swelling. During movement it is also possible to hear articular noises or crackles.

In the initial phase of this pathology the symptoms can be occasional and not particularly intense, which is why they are often underestimated. But it is precisely in these moments that a series of behaviors that can slow down (but not block) the evolution should be adopted.

Here are the “joint-saving” strategies

Osteoarthritis is due to the physiological aging of the joint tissues: cartilage, over the years, becomes less elastic and decreases in thickness, causing greater rubbing (and therefore greater wear) of the joint bones.

It is a chronic degenerative phenomenon: once started it cannot be stopped. But something can be done: first, it is important to eliminate the possible risk factors. Overweight, for example, is detrimental in particular to the hips, knees and all other joints on which the weight of the body rests.

Preventing or controlling osteoarthritis also means keeping under control those diseases that predispose to the onset of this disease, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis .

Via the pain

Once the first symptoms appear, physiotherapy, physical activity and thermal therapy are useful to allow the movement of the joint and reduce pain. However, if it is particularly intense, when necessary it may be advisable to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ), such as naproxen. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice regarding the most appropriate dosage.

When these remedies no longer have any effect, it is permissible to consider more invasive approaches: in the first instance, intra-articular injections of corticosteroids or lubricating agents such as hyaluronic acid can be used. The last beach is instead represented by surgery to replace the joint.

To move or not?

If it is true that it is not necessary to strain too much the painful articulation, on the other hand also immobility is certainly not a panacea. Standing for a long time at rest can help the joint to stiffen and lose functionality. Contacting a physiotherapist can be useful to understand how much and how to move, so as not to strain the joint too much and avoid incorrect movements.

For those suffering from osteoarthritis the most suitable motor activities are certainly those “low impact”, which keep the joint active without overloading it, and reinforce the muscles that must support it: yes therefore to swimming, pilates and cycling; to avoid running or tennis instead.

 

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