Arthritis, in general terms, is wearing from the lining of the joint, which can be known as cartilage. Every joint- knee or hip joint, which moves includes a coating of approximately 8 to 12mm of cartilage, which is as smooth as a billiard ball. If cartilage is injured or eaten off or goes through natural wear and tear, then it results in arthritis.
It is a type of arthritis which may affect any joint, including the spine. It’s the kind of joint disease and is more pronounced in the case of elderly persons. Wear and tear of joints, as a result of aging results in osteoarthritis. But this isn’t the only reason for the illness. There are other contributing reasons like genetic factors, lack of nutrition and vitamins, (Vitamin A, E and C have the capacity to protect against tissue damage. Vitamin D plays an essential role in bone mineralisation). Female hormonal deficiency in the event of post menopausal women, resulting in estrogen deficiency is also considered a risk factor and girls are more prone to osteoarthritis.
In the majority of the cases, greater body weight leads to the higher load transmitted across the weight bearing knees by a factor of three to seven times the body weight and contributes to accelerated damage of the cartilage.
The Obesity Factor
Obesity is a possible risk factor for the onset and corrosion of musculoskeletal conditions of the hip, knee, ankle, shoulder and foot. Majority of research have focused on the effects of obesity on bone and joint ailments, like the risk of fracture and atherosclerosis. However, evidence suggests that obesity might also have a profound impact on soft-tissue structures, such as tendon, cartilage and fascia. Although the mechanism remains unclear, the structural and functional limitations imposed by the extra loading of the locomotor system in obesity have been approved to unduly raising stress within connective-tissue structures and the potential for musculoskeletal injury. Considering the international increase in obesity and the increase in musculoskeletal disorders, there’s a need to ascertain the physical consequences of loading of important structures of the locomotor system in the obese individuals and to establish how obesity may interact with other components to possibly increase the risk of musculoskeletal ailments. Besides, the connection between diabetes and obesity is more powerful for the illness and is greater in women. The load transmitted to the knees fluctuates with greater body weight.
Increase in life expectancy, coupled with overweight/ obese states of the populace shall lead to a greater number of individuals with knee problems because of osteoarthritis. Several changes, metabolic in addition to functional, link obesity with Osteoarthritis. Random trials reveal substantial and clinically related disability and symptoms – aid in obese patients with knee arthritis after moderate weight loss. While exercises are great for the operational position in general, it’s wise first to prescribe weight loss as treatment for patients with a combination of diabetes and obesity.
Treatments / Tips to prevent Osteoarthritis:
- Avoid being fat/overweight, with weight control diet program and appropriate exercise.
- Ensure intake of vitamins C and A, through nutrient and food supplements.
- Ensure muscle power in quadriceps (thigh muscles).
- Increased activities of kneeling, squatting, climbing stairs and lifting heavy loads cause strange loading across the knee joint and cartilage damage. To the extent possible, this might be reduced.
- Emu oil is believed to give relief for joint pains and arthritis.
- Liberal consumption of orange juice, sweet carrot juice or Vitamin C improve the effectiveness of any anti-rheumatic medication, because vitamin C can reduce skeletal pain.
- Body massage with sesame or olive oil can help to decrease the pain. The joints affected by pain can be massaged for more time for pain relief.
- Guggul, as a medication for traditional Ayurvedic therapy is prescribed for obesity and gout. However patients electing to undergo this therapy should be carefully monitored and advised about the need for dietary modifications and exercise.