What is going on?
Experts still do not know why cartilage, the shock-absorbing tissue that normally surrounds the ends of bones, sometimes deteriorates, causing symptoms typical of arthritis of stiffness and pain.
Once the cartilage is worn, however, your bones begin to shred against each other. The rough ends thicken and can develop knotty growths called "spurs". Small pieces of cartilage are detached in the particular space.
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At later stages, the joint may seem to have been eaten away by a dog. Cartilage degradation induces inflammation, which alone can make your joint painful; Often it is associated with heat, swelling, and stiffness that aggravate the symptoms.
In the beginning, pain can only appear when you move the joint, but later it may even hurt when you are still.
Some people notice crackling noises of broken cartilage, so-called "joint mice" when they move a stiff joint.
Causes of Arthritis
Arthritis is a degenerative disease, and its causes are varied.
Your family history can assume some responsibility: your genes open the way to a defect in the production of collagen, a protein essential to cartilage.
Or maybe you've been hurt (even if it's been decades), your overweight or you're using a certain joint repeatedly (maybe because of your work).
Most people develop pain in only one or two joints, but all joints are vulnerable.
The problem areas are knees, hips, spine and fingers. Joint pain is caused by more than 100 pathologies, so get a firm diagnosis before calling your pain "arthritis".
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Acetaminophen for discomfort, over-the-counter or prescription NSAIDs (including COX-2 inhibitors) for inflammation or opioids for pain.
Application of topical liniments and heat or cold for immediate relief.
Yoga can improve torso strength, mental concentration, balance, suppleness, and recovery.
Physical aids such as shoe hold, walking sticks and joint protectors (splints, orthotics) to relieve joint stress.
Finally, injections or an operation, even an articular replacement, may be necessary.
Here are four ways to regain control over arthritis and pain.
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1. Find out more
Studies show that active involvement in managing your own osteoarthritis can dramatically reduce your pain.
2. Get rid of the heels
Twice as many women as men suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, and Harvard researchers have a clue as to why.
When walking with heels higher than five centimeters (two inches), the torque - the rotational force - applied around the inside of the knee is 23% greater than walking barefoot. It is enough torque to destroy the cartilage and cause arthritis.
So opt for low-heeled or flat shoes and keep the high heels for (short) special occasions.
3. Roll your sleeves
Try squeezing a tennis ball to relieve stiffness and strengthen your forearms and hands.
Make a five-centimeter (two-inch) incision in the ball for low resistance and a 2.5 cm (1 inch) incision to create moderate resistance.
4. Pay attention to your hips
Do not settle for a standard replacement hip. Ask your doctor about the different options.
Many people go abroad, in Birmingham, England, for variants such as the hip resurfacing procedure.
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