Osteoarthritis affects millions, and with recent breakthroughs, our understanding of its origins and potential remedies is evolving rapidly. In the UK alone, Versus Arthritis notes that osteoarthritis impacts a staggering 10 million people. It’s a significant contributor to disability, and often causes significant pain and discomfort for those affected.
Here, we’ll look at the latest insights into this debilitating condition, and the treatment options available.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis involves the wearing down of cartilage in the joints, which can be linked to changes in a special fluid, called synovial fluid. Researchers recently investigated how these changes might be connected.
They focused on a component of this fluid called Hyaluronic Acid (HA). In healthy joints, HA is present in a particular amount and size, but in joints with osteoarthritis, it’s different—there’s less of it, and it’s smaller.
The study also investigated how these changes affect the protective layer in our joints, which lets our bones move smoothly without friction. By experimenting on gold surfaces, the researchers found that having the right balance of HA is crucial for this protective layer to form properly.
These discoveries could help in developing ways to diagnose this condition earlier. The team is now doing more studies to see if what they found on gold surfaces is true for actual joints, aiming to better understand and tackle osteoarthritis.
What is the Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Arthritis?
Arthritis is a general term used to describe inflammation in the joints, including over a hundred different types of joint diseases. The main symptoms usually include joint pain and stiffness.
Osteoarthritis is a specific type of arthritis. It’s primarily caused by the wear-and-tear of joint cartilage over time, which reduces its ability to act as a cushion between the bones. As osteoarthritis progresses, the cartilage breaks down, and bone might rub against bone. This can lead to pain, swelling, and reduced joint mobility.
Your Treatment Options
When it comes to treating osteoarthritis, the initial approach often involves a combination of medical treatments and lifestyle changes. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, are commonly prescribed to manage pain.
For more severe cases, surgeons might recommend joint injections or even joint replacement surgery.
However, non-medical treatments can also be useful. Physical therapy exercises for example, can strengthen the muscles around the affected joint, providing more support and reducing strain. Weight management is crucial too. If you are carrying excess weight, it can exacerbate wear on the joints.
Another option that is proving to be highly effective is MBST. Unlike traditional treatments that target the symptoms, MBST focuses on the root cause. It harnesses the power of magnetic resonance to stimulate the affected cells, promoting regeneration and offering relief from pain.
Schedule an appointment with MBST London to explore whether MBST could be an ideal treatment for your osteoarthritis.