Joint Pain

Do you have stiff, sore pain in the morning, or sometimes have that one area of your hip that has an achy pain that won’t go away? You may have a condition known as Osteoarthritis.

What it is

Joint pain refers to any type of pain felt in one or more joints. Osteoarthritis (OA) when they think of joint pain; it is the most common type of joint pain in the world, and one of the oldest conditions known to man.

Most joint pain is in the weight bearing joints of the body: knees, hips and spine. OA may also be present in the hands, fingers and neck. As we age, the cartilage breaks down, becoming thinner, and the ends of the bone start to rub against each other.

Other names for OA that your medical professional may use are Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), osteorthrosis, and hypertrophic osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Joint Pain

Pain is the most common symptom, usually worse with movement and better with rest. The pain is usually described as stiff and sore, and as pain increases, the flexibility of the joint decreases, and there may be a ‘crunchy’ feeling or sound with movement.

The joints of the finger have a tendency to develop small knob-like deformities after several years; at the end of the fingers these are called Heberden’s (HEB-err-denz) nodes, at the middle joint of the fingers they are called Bouchard’s (boo-SHARDZ) nodes.

Lifestyle and Dietary Modifications

Focus on your diet, reducing excessive caloric intake and eating minimally processed foods that are have high nutritional value benefits your health.

Many people find that the symptoms of OA improve when nightshade family foods (tomato, potato, capsicum and eggplant) are eliminated from the diet.

Other people find success following the Warmbrand diet, which avoids processed foods, red meat, poultry, dairy, refined sugar, and eggs.

Lifestyle modifications

Be active! Obesity is one of the major risk factors for developing OA. And even mild exercise can improve symptoms already present in the hip and knees.

Nutritional Factors Shown to be Beneficial

Glucosamine Sulfate

It is useful for osteoarthritis of the knees, large joints and spine. It has been shown to increase water retention and bulging in partially degenerative lumbar disc, but not in fully degenerative discs. Glucosamine Sulfate stimulates the production of the connective tissues necessary for healthy joint structures. Glucosamine plays a role in the healthy formation of numerous bodily structures and substances, including articular surfaces, ligaments, tendons, synovial fluid, skin, bone, nails, and mucus secretions.
Dose: 500 mg TID-QID, min 6 weeks for at least 3 months. Most Glucosamine is derived from shellfish, so its use is contraindicated from those with shellfish allergies.

Boswellia Serrata

Also known as Frankincense, boswellia is derived from a tree. It stops the production of an inflammatory chemical pathway and inhibits the production of an inflammation and pain producing compound, Leukotriene B4.
Dose: 300 mg three times a day.

Fish Oils

The fish oils EPA and DHA serve as anti-inflammatory to help reduce the inflammation associated with some sorts of arthritis.
Dose: 3-6 grams a day

Niacinamide Niacinamide helps to protect joint cartilage cells, improves joint flexibility, reduces inflammation, and permits a reduction in NSAID dosage.
Dose: 250 to 500 mg four times per day

Diagnosis and Pharmaceutical Interventions

OA can be diagnosised by your health care practitioner (HCP) through describing your symptoms, or via an X-ray.

Some other conditions that may cause joint pain, or have similar characteristics as OA are Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, bursitis, tendonitis, fibromyalgia and infectious illness.

Pharmaceutical medications

NSAIDS

NSAIDS- includes over the counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, panadol as well as prescription medications like celebrex, and voltaren. NSAIDS can cause bleeding ulcers in the stomach, and may interfere with normal bleeding times.

Steroid Injections

A glucocorticoid steroid medication (cortisone) injected directly into the area of pain. If not performed properly there is a risk of infection of the bone, trauma to the cartilage or injury to nearby nerves. Injections are not always effective.

Surgery

Hip and knee replacement surgeries commonly offered when all else fails.

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