Is An Osteoarthritis Cure Possible?
There are numerous ways osteoarthritis can be treated, although there is no real osteoarthritis cure. There are nearly 100 types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common, with rheumatoid arthritis also one of the more common types. The two types are sometimes confused with one another. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune disorder, attacking the joints, and is painful and inflammatory disease. Osteoarthritis on the other hand is a degenerative disease of the joints, which also causes inflammation though not as pronounced as the inflammation attribute to rheumatoid arthritis. In osteoarthritis the immune system is really not involved. Some who suffer from osteoarthritis don't experience inflammation at all, but simply the effects of a deteriorating joint.
Progression Of The Disease - Osteoarthritis is usually first experienced as soreness in a joint, perhaps accompanied by some tenderness in the area. Over time the joint may become stiff, especially after a period when it is has not been used for some time, such as during sleep. As the disorder progresses, the joint may have a grinding or gravelly feeling, and bone spurs may develop. Even in the early stages there is no osteoarthritis cure, but the disorder is definitely treatable, and in some instances the symptoms may be reversible. Most treatments are designed to counteract the pain experienced and to keep the affected person as active as possible.
One of the reasons there is no osteoarthritis cure, may be at least in part due to the fact that the cause of the disease is not known, although both aging and heredity, some times coupled with obesity, seem to play a role. Although the disease in theory could affect any joint, it is more often than not the hands, knees, and hips that are affected. Occasionally this form of arthritis occurs in the neck and the lower back.
Osteoarthritis doesn't attack the bones, at least not directly, even though the words osteo and arthro mean affecting the bone and joint. It is the cartilage that covers the joints which degenerates, eventually to the point where the bones come into contact with one another, and the bone surfaces are damaged.
Initial And Early Stage Treatment - Treatment in the early stages often consists of nothing more than taking an over the counter medication for pain relief. As the disease progresses, and pain becomes more severe, prescription pain killers may be needed. At times, periodic injections of cortisone directly into the affected joint will offer relief from pain. Therapy designed to strengthen and exercise the muscles surrounding the joint can also lessen the degree of pain felt, and give the joint some added protection. In some instances, a fluid, similar to the fluid naturally present in the joint, is injected into the joint to provide some added cushioning, with pain relief and protection of the cartilage and bones in mind. At the present time, this type of treatment is used only in cases of osteoarthritis affecting a knee joint.
Joint Replacements - At the beginning of the article it was stated that there is no real osteoarthritis cure. There are circumstances when if a joint is suffering from a disease or disorder, a cure might be to get rid of the joint. In that case, a replacement of some sort would be in order. There are a number of treatments which offer this kind of "cure", and most of these are quite successful.
We're quite familiar with the hip replacement, which has been successfully performed for a number of years. The same can be said for knee replacements. The joint suffering from arthritis, usually at an advanced stage of the disease, is simply replaced with a synthetic joint. Joint replacement has gone beyond the hip and knee, and is now routinely performed on elbows, shoulders, ankles, and even joints in the hand. In that sense, it could be said there is an osteoarthritis cure.