osteoarthritis ( OA) - its indication and treatment
OA is a chronic disease that involves the breakdown of joints and its surrounding tissues. OA is characterized by loss of cartilage and joint degeneration and can lead to loss of joint function or even deformity.
OA may be the consequence of typical progression of aging, physical injury, chronic joint and oxidative stress, besides genetic factors.
The most common symptoms are :
- Pain aggravated by moving
-Stiffness in affected joint noticed in the morning and after resting.
- Swelling in the joint
- Deformity can also occur in the joint due to bone growths and cartilage loss.
- Crepitus , a crackling sound accompanied by a grating sensation.
-The most conventional mode of treatment is administration of non-steroidal, anti inflammatory drugs like Indocin and Voltaren, both of which have serious side effects on long term usages.
- Given below are some of the self help methods to alleviate pains and facilitate movement of the joint without pain:
1. Practice relaxation exercises including meditation and yoga.
2. Learn about 4 P's - pacing, planning, prioritizing and problem solving. Do something every day but stop what ever you are doing before you get tired, stiff and sore. Remember to rest between periods of activity, prioritize your work and get some help to do things which are unable to perform yourself.
3. Get good sleep each night, a short nap in the afternoon.
4. Eat well balanced diet - vitamin C is a powerful anti oxidant which is known to help reduce risk of cartilage loss. Vitamin E is another antioxidant that protects the joints from free radical damage and increases joint mobility. Essential fatty acids are necessary to produce substances that lubricate the joints , the best being omega 3 found in fish and flaxseeds.
5. Reduce your weight in consultation with a doctor.
6. Do regular exercises - while sitting on a chair, straighten your legs, hold for 5 seconds, then lower your legs and rest upto 10 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times with each leg.
You can also try homeopathic medicines like Rhus Tox 30, which does not have any side effects. more  

Besides Rhus Tox, the other drugs that are useful are Arnica, Ruta. Bryonia also could be tried if the joints are red and there is swelling. more  
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