Joint pain is the main symptom of osteoarthritis. Most people experience stiff and swollen joints and some form of limitation in movement or physical activity. Movement of the joint is usually difficult first thing in the morning or following "active" use or overuse of the joint.
Osteoarthritis can range from ‘very mild’ to ‘very severe’. It can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in the hands, fingers and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and back. (It rarely affects other joints, except as a result of previous injury or unusual stress.) Osteoarthritis is characterised by degenerative changes in the cartilage and bones of joints leading to pain, stiffness and swelling.
Osteoarthritis is also known by other names, such as ‘degenerative joint disease’ and ‘osteoarthrosis’. Anybody can get OA. It is most common in middle-aged and older people, especially women over 45. Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.
There are many factors that have been linked with osteoarthritis. Although age is a primary risk factor, it is not just a function of ‘getting older’; genetics, weight, athletic interests, prior injury and muscle weakness are also risk factors. There is not much you can do about genetics, however, you do have control over lifestyle factors (such as diet and exercise) that can influence your management of osteoarthritis.
Effective osteoarthritis treatment should target pain management and improved joint movement.
The good news is that you can improve with treatment. Getting a correct diagnosis and working with your doctor and other health professionals to design the best treatment plan is essential. This will take into consideration the nature of your symptoms and your age, occupation and lifestyle interests.
Surgery is usually only considered as a last resort.
Your doctor can advise what osteoarthritis pain relief medication is best for you. Supplementation with glucosamine-based products combined with a ‘lifestyle program’ of exercise, diet and professional advice can help. This will help to keep your joints, bones and muscles healthy and strong.
Physical activity pumps energy around your body. It increases oxygen and blood flow to active muscles and ‘warms-up’ your joints so they can move more smoothly. Exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins (adrenaline) which are your body's own natural pain relievers.
Activities such as walking, cycling and swimming are all excellent. These activities are low-impact, so they minimise the stress on your joints. They also make your heart, lungs and muscles more efficient and boost your immune system function. Aerobic exercise really is the key to good health.
Please contact your doctor or joint care specialist to develop a personal osteoarthritis plan. They can provide expert advice regarding safe participation in exercise and a healthy lifestyle to complement your medication. Your doctor can also provide referrals to other health professionals. This website also contains some excellent resources, so take some time to browse.
Your local pharmacist is also an excellent source of information about osteoarthritis medications. They can help explain the difference between medications that contain glucosamine combined with sulphate (salt) and those that contain glucosamine in its pure hydrochloride (HCL) form. Glucosamine HCL provides 30% more active glucosamine per mg than glucosamine sulphate.
New OsteoEze Active + MSM is a triple action formulation which combines the therapeutic daily dose of Glucosamine hydrochloride (1500mg), Chondroitin (1200mg) and MSM (Dimethyl sulfone 1500mg) for effective relief from joint pain and improved mobility ...
Herron Glucosamine & Chondroitin Forte is suitable for adults wanting to assist their bodies rebuild and repair damaged joint cartilage ...