Osteoarthritis is a musculoskeletal condition that involves the joints, leading to pain and stiffness. It is caused by the inflammation, deterioration, and loss of cartilage in the joints, which result to wearing down, as per Medical News Today. According to the publication, osteoarthritis stands as the most common form of arthritis or joint inflammation. As per the National Health Service, as cited by the publication, the condition affects around 8.5 million people in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, the Arthritis Foundation reveals that around 27 million people in the United States suffer from the condition.
As per the publication, women suffer from osteoarthritis more than men when they reach the age of 50 years. It is added that the symptoms usually appear after 40 years old and they gradually progress. In the United States, osteoarthritis stands as a principal cause of work disability and decreased quality of life due to loss of joint function. Reportedly, the average direct cost of osteoarthritis in the United States is around $2,800 for every individual yearly.
Signs and Symptoms
According to Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of osteoarthritis develop gradually, but worsen over time. As per the publication, the condition includes symptoms like pain during or after movement, tenderness when light pressure is applied, stiffness that is noticeable upon waking up in the morning or following a period of inactivity, reduced joint range of motion, a grating sensation when the joint is used, and bone spurs or extra bone bits that form around the involved joint.
While medical management, such as pain medications, are available to counter osteoarthritis, home remedies are also available to manage the condition.
Managing one’s weight, usually geared towards weight loss, is one remedy for osteoarthritis. According to Web MD, reducing the person’s weight decreases the undue strain placed on weight-bearing joints like spine, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Also, weight loss aids relieve the symptoms of the disorder. However, it is expected that weight loss cannot be done overnight; it is done gradually, but surely.
Rhythmics and Aquatics
Water activities, such as swimming, helps manage osteoarthritis. According to the American College of Rheumatology, as cited by Everyday Health, aquatic exercises provide a means of exercise that does not put too much stress on the weight-bearing joints, unlike some land-based routines. As per the publication, people with osteoarthritis can engage with a program that utilizes heated pool and water-based exercises, which boost their workout and comfort level, in addition to improving their range of motion and capacity to perform their activities of daily living.
Heat and Cold Application
The application of hot and cold compress also helps manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as joint pain. As per Top 10 Home Remedies, heat application aims to decrease pain and stiffness while cold compress reduces swelling and inflammation. A hot compress is prepare by wrapping a hot water bottle in a thin towel. Temperature is tested to prevent burns, especially in geriatric clients or the elderly, who have reduced ability to gauge temperature. Similarly, a cold compress is prepared by using a towel to wrap ice cubes. The hot compress is put in the affected joints for two to three minutes and is replaced with the cold compress, which is left on the affected part for about a minute. The process is done for 15 to 20 minutes for a few times everyday.
Osteoarthritis presents symptoms that are not as life-threatening as those of cancer’s; however, it still brings discomfort to the people who are suffers from it. Thus, medical management and home remedies can be implemented to resolve the condition.