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Osteoarthritis Overview
Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease is a group of mechanical abnormalities leading to the structural or functional failure of 1 or more of your joints. Osteoarthritis involves the entire joint including the nearby muscles, underlying bone, ligaments, joint lining (synovium), and the joint cover (capsule). Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints. Unlike many other forms of arthritis that are systemic illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus, osteoarthritis does not affect other organs of the body.
The affects of Osteoarthritis (OA) in the joints can be explained by a series of process, which has several phases:
  • Osteoarthritis leads to loss of cartilage (cartilage is a layer of tissue present at the joint surfaces that sustains joint loading and allows motion.)
  • The cartilage subsequently tries to repair itself, the bone remodels, leading to hardening of the underlying bone and subchondrial cystic formation.
  • The stationary phase of disease progression in osteoarthritis involves the formation of osteophytes (bony outgrowths or lumps).
  • Osteoarthritis progresses further with obliteration of the joint space.
What are the causes of Osteoarthritis? Top
The causes of osteoarthritis are varied and can be classified as
1. Primary
2. Secondary
Primary: In this variant the OA is a chronic degenerative disorder related to but not caused by aging. As the person ages the cartilage becomes less resilient leading to degeneration. This along with inflammation of the surrounding joint capsule can lead to bony outgrowths (osteophytes) formation, which subsequently causes obliteration of joint space. These bone changes, together with the inflammation, can be both painful and debilitating.
Secondary:This type of OA is caused by other factors or diseases but the resulting pathology is the same as for primary OA.
  • Diabetese
  • Obesity
  • Heridity:
  • Trauma: In jury to the joint resulting from fracture or in certain cases over stress
  • Inflammatory joint diseases: This category would include infected joints, chronic gouty arthritis, and rheumatoid disease.
  • Metabolic: Diseases causing errors of metabolism may cause osteoarthritis.
  • Congenital or developmental:Abnormal anatomy such as unequal leg length may be a cause of osteoarthritis.
  • Neuropathic: Diseases such as diabetes can cause nerve problems. The loss of sensation may affect how the body knows the position and condition of the joints or limbs. In other words, the body can't tell when it is injured.
  • Other: Nutritional problems may cause osteoarthritis. Other diseases such as hemophilia and sickle cell are further examples
What are the sign and symptoms of Osteoarthritis? Top
Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints. Unlike many other forms of arthritis (rheumatic arthritis) it does not have systemic symptoms. The cardinal symptom of osteoarthritis is pain along with other signs of joint inflammation.
The signs of joint inflammation, include:
  • Pain: Aching pain, stiffness, or difficulty moving the joint may develop in one or more joints. The pain may get worse with overuse and may occur at night. With progression of this arthritis, the pain can occur at rest.
  • Swelling:
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
Bone enlargements in the fingertips (first joint) are commonclassic bony enlargement of the small joint at the end of the fingers is called a Heberden's node. In the knees, which are major weight-bearing joints, repetitive squatting and kneeling may promote osteoarthritis. Hip joint also being a major weight bearing joint is affected by osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis of the cervical spine or lumbar spine causes pain in the neck or low back. Bony spurs, called osteophytes, that form along the arthritic spine can irritate spinal nerves, causing severe pain, numbness, and tingling of the affected parts of the body. Progressive osteoarthritis can lead to joint deformities.
How is osteoarthritis diagnosed? Top
After a complete history and physical examination doctor may order a few tests like
  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • CT Scan
  • Blood test: It may be done to rule out infection.
What is the role of homoeopathy in osteoarthritis? Top
Relieves Symptoms like: a. Pain
b. Stiffness
c. Increases Joint Mobility
d. Tenderness
Preventing exacerbations and attacks in certain forma of arthritis: It helps in preventing any further pain attacks thus improving overall comfortably and mobility of the patient
Controlling and reversing the underlying Disease process:
Our deep acting constitutional medicines act by stopping the demineralization and degeneration process of the bones of the joint involved. It helps in maintaining the joint space and preventing any further loss to the cartilage and synovial fluid. It also provides strength to the adjoining ligaments thus strengthening the whole joint, maintaining its space and decreasing pressure on the nerves.
In mild and moderate disease stages complete cure has been achieved, in cases were the disease process has lead to destruction of the joint as in severe cases were joint destruction and deformity has occurred homoeopathy can offer excellent palliative treatment.
If homoeopathic treatment is sought early it helps in preventing the progress of disease and preventing any complications from occurring which are usually associated with the disease
We at DRSS provide our patients with diet charts, exercise schedules and guide them how to modify their lifestyle so that better results can be achieved. Our medicines can be started with conventional treatment depending upon the disease state and case.
Homoeopathic medicines if taken under proper guidance from a well-qualified professional are extremely safe and have no side effects.
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