Osteoarthritis is an abnormality of synovial joints characterized by softening , splitting , and fragmentation of articular cartilage not attributable to direct contact with inflammatory tissue.
This is usually accompanied by subchondral sclerosis and bone cysts , joints space narrowing and bony overgrowth at tissue joint margins (osteophytes).
osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that enables nearly friction-less joint motion. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, bone will rub on bone.
Osteoarthritis has often been referred to as a “wear and tear” disease. But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.
SIGN AND SYMPTOMS
Pain Affected joints might hurt during or after movement.
Stiffness Joint stiffness might be most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.
Tenderness Your joint might feel tender when you apply light pressure to or near it.
Loss of flexibility You might not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
Grating sensation You might feel a grating sensation when you use the joint, and you might hear popping or crackling.
Bone spurs These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, can form around the affected joint.
Swelling This might be caused by soft tissue inflammation around the joint.
Older age The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age.
Sex Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it isn’t clear why.
Obesity Carrying extra body weight contributes to osteoarthritis in several ways, and the more you weigh, the greater your risk. Increased weight adds stress to weight-bearing joints, such as your hips and knees. Also, fat tissue produces proteins that can cause harmful inflammation in and around your joints.
Joint injuries Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, can increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Even injuries that occurred many years ago and seemingly healed can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.
Repeated stress on the joint If your job or a sport you play places repetitive stress on a joint, that joint might eventually develop osteoarthritis.
Genetics. Some people inherit a tendency to develop osteoarthritis.
Bone deformities Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage.
Certain metabolic diseases These include diabetes and a condition in which your body has too much iron (hemochromatosis)
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time, often resulting in chronic pain. Joint pain and stiffness can become severe enough to make daily tasks difficult.
Depression and sleep disturbances can result from the pain and disability of osteoarthritis.
INVESTIGATION AND DIAGNOSIS
Blood tests Although there’s no blood test for osteoarthritis, certain tests can help rule out other causes of joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Joint fluid analysis IN THIS METHOD, use a needle to draw fluid from an affected joint. The fluid is then tested for inflammation and to determine whether your pain is caused by gout or an infection rather than osteoarthritis.
X-rays Cartilage doesn’t show up on X-ray images, but cartilage loss is revealed by a narrowing of the space between the bones in your joint. An X-ray can also show bone spurs around a joint.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) An MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce detailed images of bone and soft tissues, including cartilage. An MRI isn’t commonly needed to diagnose osteoarthritis but can help provide more information in complex cases.
1. Rhus Tox – For Osteoarthritis With Pain And Stiffness
Among the various medicines for osteoarthritis, Rhus Tox works well to relieve pain and stiffness in the joints affected by osteoarthritis. Rhus Tox is suitable for osteoarthritis of various joints including the knee, hip, and hands. Rhus Tox is also useful in osteoarthritis where warm application over the joint gives relief. Cracking in joints along with pain and stiffness, and a pain in joints that gets worse from exposure to cold air also indicate the need for Rhus Tox.
2. Calcarea Carb – For Osteoarthritis Of Knee Joint In Obese People
Calcarea Carb is another medicine for osteoarthritis of the knee that is suitable for people dealing with obesity. Persons requiring Calcarea Carb have pain, stiffness, and swelling in the knee joint. A feeling of coldness in the knee and feet is present. Calcarea Carb is also suited for joint pains that get worse in wet weather and in cases where the formation of nodes and joint deformity has occurred as a result of arthritis.
3. Ruta – Remedy For Osteoarthritis
Ruta is a medicine indicated for osteoarthritis affecting the knee. It gives good results in cases where a person has knee pain that gets worse while ascending and descending stairs. It also works well in cases of osteoarthritis of hands with marked stiffness.
4. Bryonia – For Knee Osteoarthritis Where Motion Worsen Joint Pain
Bryonia is a well-indicated medicine for osteoarthritis where motion worsens the joint pain. Bryonia is helpful in cases where rest and pressure give relief to joint pains. Pain in the joints is mainly tearing or stitching in character. Swelling and heat in knee joint may also be felt.
5. Actaea Spicata And Lithium Carb – For Osteoarthritis Of Small Joints
Actaea Spicata and Lithium Carb are the medicines recommended for osteoarthritis of small joints.
The guiding symptoms for using Actea Spicata are a pain in the fingers and toes, and pain in the small joints from exertion or motion.
Lithium Carb is most suited for small joint arthritis with node formation. Swelling, pain, and tenderness in small joints like toes and fingers are marked with node formation. Application of warm compress helps relieve the joint pains.
6. Colcynthis – For Pain In Hip
Colcynthis is a medicine that helps treat osteoarthritis in the hip joint, especially when the pain is felt like a cramping sensation. This pain usually gets better when pressure is applied. This medicine is indicated in cases where the pain increases due to stooping, standing or motion.
7. Pulsatilla – For Shifting Pain From One Joint To Another
Pulsatilla Nigricans is a medicine for osteoarthritis in the hip joint where the person complains of shifting pains (from one joint to another) and experiences extreme restlessness. Pulsatilla is also indicated in cases where the sensation of pain is as if the joint is dislocated. This pain gets better with motion.
8. Causticum – For Cracking In Knee Joints
Causticum is a medicine that is used to treat osteoarthritis in the knee joint where the person experiences extreme stiffness and a cracking sensation in the joints of the knees. This type of pain tends to get better with the application of heat and gets worse on exposure to cold air.
9. Antimonium Crudum – For Pain In Finger Joints
Antimonium Crudum is used to treat osteoarthritis in cases where the person experiences pain in the finger joints. This pain tends to get worse in the cold weather, or due to washing hands in cold water. Applying a warm compress on the finger joints helps relieve the pain.
10. Sulphur – For Knee Pain That Is Aggravated While Climbing Stairs
Sulphur is a medicine used for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint that gets aggravated while using the stairs. There may also be stiffness and pain that becomes worse on standing. Excessive heat in the feet with pain in the knee is another symptom that indicates the need for the Sulphur.
11. Benzoic Acid – For Pain And Swelling In Knee Joint
Benzoic Acid is a medicine that is used to treat osteoarthritis where there is pain, swelling and cracking in the knee joint. Formation of nodes on the finger joints accompanied by pain in the finger joints, and pain in the fingers along with a cracking sound upon movement are some other the indicating features of this remedy.