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Osteoarthritis– What is It and What can You Do to Help?

According the CDC and arthritis.org, an estimated 30+ Million Americans suffer with osteoarthritis, but what exactly is it? Let’s take a closer look.

Osteoarthritis can be broken down into 3 parts with Greek origins: osteo-arthr-itis.

  1. Osteo – “bone’
  2. Arthro – “joint”
  3. Itis – “inflammation”

Together, we get inflammation affecting the bone and joint.

OA is the most common type of arthritis and affects a large percentage of the middle-aged and elderly population. It is degenerative in nature and is often referred to as the “wear and tear” disease as it usually develops slowly and gets worse over time. With osteoarthritis, cartilage breaks down and the underlying bone begins to deteriorate causing increased stress on the surrounding ligaments and tendons. These changes usually lead to aching, pain, stiffness, decreased flexibility, and swelling and can leave a person immobilized, defeated or depressed. Here are some things you can do to help.

  • Talk to your Doctor- If you have joint pain or stiffness that won’t go away, make an appointment with your doctor. The team at All Star Healthcare are more than happy to answer any of your questions and will help you schedule your appointment.
  • Move your Body- Increased physical activity can often help reduce the stiffness associated with osteoarthritis and help manage weight issues. Strengthening the muscles surround the affected joints is also helpful. A minimum of 90 minutes of exercise per week is recommended by the American Heart Association.
  • Eat Healthy- Having a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce the symptoms associated with OA. Foods like turmeric, ginger, and garlic have been found to help fight general inflammation in the body.
  • Support- Sometimes, devices such as knee braces or crutches are helpful in supporting affected joints and aid in decreasing symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Surgery- In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to reduce the damage of osteoarthritis.
  • Regenerative Therapy- A new frontier is being explored in the field of medicine- Regenerative Therapy. Treatments including Plasma-Rich Protein (PRP), Stem Cells, and Exosomes have been used by athletes to help heal arthritic and injured joints and tissues. These treatments are showing great promise in helping people get out of pain and regaining quality of life without having surgery or taking a lot of medications.

“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step,” and the best time to start your healing journey is today. Schedule your appointment today to find out if All Star Healthcare can help you!