(DJD)) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting nearly the entire elderly population.
Osteoarthritis is described as a generally progressive loss of articular
cartilage accompanied by sclerosis of subchondral bone and, in many instances, the formation of subchondral bone cysts and
osteophytes. The osteophytes are the
overgrowth of bone that make joints look big and are the abnormalities that physicians see on x-ray showing arthritis in the joints.
This decrease in cartilage and the overgrowth of bone causes the person with arthritis to have restrictions in motion, joint pain,
crepitus with motion, joint effusions, and obvious joint deformities.
Soreness and aching in the joint and surrounding tissues generally accompanies development of
osteoarthritis. A grating sensation is frequently heard with movement of the joint. Osteoarthritis commonly occurs in the knees, hips, spine, and ankles, as well as the shoulders and at old
fracture sites that have occurred within joints. The latter is particularly true with ankle and
wrist arthritis. This is because osteoarthritis forms anywhere that
joint instability exists.
The standard medical treatment for osteoarthritis involves the use of non-steroidal
(NSAIDS). Unfortunately, however, it has been recently shown that these medications may actually promote further deterioration of the joint. Therefore, although these medications may be helpful in reducing pain, they may not be beneficial in the long run. At the minimum, everyone would concur that they do nothing to help the repair process of the
soft tissue injury.
Things that may help at the health food store:
Over the past several years additional information has accumulated in regards to the use of
glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and
collagen II. These products are available without a prescription from health practitioners or the local health food stores. They have been shown to be effective in pill form or via injection. Glucosamine can be extremely helpful in reducing pain from osteoarthritis and can also help prevent further deterioration of the joint.
Another useful medicine for joint pain is Capsaicin. This is available either as a generic or proprietary cream (known as
Zostrix). When applied to a painful joint on a regular basis, joint-related pain and muscle spasms are decreased to a significant degree. Side effects, other than warmth,
are very rare. These creams literally work to decrease the amount of pain chemicals that are present in the tissues surrounding the joint.
As good as some of the treatments are for pain;
(In our opinion) nothing comes close to the effectiveness of
Prolotherapy can stimulate the regrowth of the injured tissue. Prolotherapy can tighten the
ligaments around a joint and can also be quite helpful in reducing joint pain immediately, through direct injection into the joint. Proper exercise can then be resumed in order to bring the strength and flexibility of the surrounding muscles to a normal level. The muscles then help to protect the joints from any further injury.
KNEE ARTHROSCOPY FOR
Recently I looked
over several articles in newspapers and a nice clinical review article,
all explaining how arthroscopy for knee arthritis is on the rise despite
the lack of evidence that it helps get rid of pain. Most of the knee
patients we see at Caring Medical have had knee arthroscopy and from what
I can tell it accelerates the arthritic process. We feel a better
approach would be to repair the arthritic process with Prolotherapy.
Osteoarthritis of the shoulder
is characterized by the destruction of the protective
cartilage in the
joint, resulting in painful and restricted motion. Arthritis does not affect
the shoulder joint as often as it does large weight-bearing joints, such as
the hip and knee. With the shoulder, there is usually a history of injury or
trauma to the shoulder or previous surgery.