Arthritis is a progressive age-related disease. It usually affects weight bearing joints of the body with knee being the commonest. Other most prevalent joints are Hip, Shoulder and Spine.
- Joint is formed with 2 bones connecting each other and giving us freedom of movement.
- On the top of these bones is a layer of cartilage which provides smooth gliding of bones over each other.
- In between the joint there is synovial fluid which acts as a shock absorber, provides nutrient to the joints and provides lubrication.
- These all are enclosed in a joint cavity.
- When your muscles becomes weak they fail to support the joints and the bones come in approximation to each other (more closer).
- This results in rubbing off the cartilage layering causing inflammation and pain.
- The more it keeps on eroding the bony surfaces becomes uncovered and starts rubbing and grinding against each other.
- As bones are brittle it causes osteophytes formation (small bone spikings because of rubbing) which further irritates the joint and increases severity of symptoms.
- Slowly and gradually the space between the joints keep on reducing.
- Muscular weakness.
- Poor posture.
- Altered biomechanics of the body.
- Flat foot.
- Family History
- Females > Males
- Pain- intermittent or continuous.
- Swelling may/maynot be present.
- Tenderness around the joint.
- Weakness of mucles.
- Limited ROM.
- Altered biomechanics.
- X-Rays are the best form to rule out arthritis.
- Physical examination to clinically corelate.
- Hot/Cold packs 10-15 mins twice a day to increase the blood flow and minimize swelling at the same time.
- TENS or Interferrential therapy to manage pain.
- Ultrasonic therapy to generate healing.
- Manual mobilizations to maintain integrity of the joint.
- Muscle releases to release tight muscles around the joint- manual, instrument assisted or cupping therapy, dry needling.
- Kinesiotaping to support the joint.
- Specific and targeted joint strength training through free weights, therabands and balls.
- Stretches to maintain flexibility of the joint.
- Training and strengthening of full kinetic chain for maximal benefits.
- Activity and posture modifications.
- Braces and supports if needed.
- Medications like antiinflammtory drugs, pain killers help manage severe pain.
- Supplementaion- cartigen, collagen, omega 3, calcium, Vit D, Vit B12, Magnesium, Glucosamine etc.
- Epsom salt water dips are very effective in managing pain and soothing stiff joints.
- Surgery can be considered if 1 year of conservative management fails.
What is Arthritis?
It’s an age-related disease which results in wear and tear of your joints resulting in pain and discomfort. In this the protective cartilage that cushions your bones starts wearing off resulting in rubbing of bones forming bone spurs which causes further inflammation and weakening of muscles.
Symptoms of arthritis?
- Pain. Affected joints might hurt during or after movement.
- Stiffness. Joint stiffness might be most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.
- Tenderness. Your joint might feel tender when you apply light pressure to or near it.
- Loss of flexibility. You might not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
- Grating sensation. You might feel a grating sensation when you use the joint, and you might hear popping or crackling.
- Swelling. This might be caused by soft tissue inflammation around the joint.
Is arthritis curable?
It depends on the severity of arthritis. Yes, Initial stages of Arthritis are curable but later stages of arthritis generally do not recover completely, as it’s a degenerative change in the body, aging cannot be reversed.
Which doctor can I see to treat arthritis?
Orthopedician or your nearby physiotherapist can help you in joint related problems.
Precautions needed during arthritis?
- Avoid excessive joint motion especially bending.
- Reduction in weight is important.
- Omega 3 fatty acids, Collagen supplementations, Glucosamine helps in maintaining joint health
- Certain essential vitamins like magnesium, Vit B12, Vit D are important.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Do regular stretches and strength training for your joint muscles.
- Consult your physiotherapist before starting any weight training program to ensure you are not putting too much of stress on the joints and further injuring them. Avoid sitting on floor or low seated seats.
- Stop using Indian toilets.
- Give PRICE (which we talked about to prevent further injury and minimizing the damage)
- Seek help immediately after onset on pain, as it can controlled to a great extent in its initial stages.
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