The cartilage (or rubbery protective layer) between two bones in a joint, starts to wear away and break down with age or overuse, which in turn can leave the bone surface underneath vulnerable to wearing and breaking down. Chips of broken off bone and cartilage can get stuck in the joint space and/or bone spurs may begin to develop. All of these changes can result in pain and inflammation, make a joint more stiff or difficult to use in everyday life.
How does it progress?
Most commonly OA first presents itself as a stiffness in the involved joint or region of the body, that is most noticeable first thing in the morning and late at night when the body has stopped moving for a while and the joints and muscles have “cooled down”. It can be less noticeable in the middle of the day when the joints and muscles have “warmed up” with activity. However over time as the tissues break down further, there is more irritation and that is when pain, inflammation, and decreased function start to become more noticeable.
What is Healthy Lifestyle?
A healthy lifestyle involves
How does a Healthy Lifestyle help?
As with most conditions, an early diagnosis allows you to take the opportunity to make early changes that may effect how quickly or severely your condition may progress. Taking steps as outlined above, directly reduces the negative, self perpetuating effects of the condition (such as inflammation and stiffness), promotes enhanced circulation and quality nutrition to the damaged tissues (which encourages healing) and may be further supported with the addition of key nutritional supplements.
Glucosamine based supplements provide the building blocks for cartilage repair; Omega 3 fats can reduce inflammation and are used in making joint lubricants; Zinc and Vitamin C are important for connective tissue strength; Magnesium can help with muscle spasm; Calcium, Vitamin D and Phosphorus support strong healthy bones, Circumin from turmeric is a great natural anti-inflammatory and looking after your gut health by taking a pro-biotic can have far reaching effects including improving immune function which can then reduce inflammation levels.
As always, supplements are of limited use when ones’ diet is poor, and it is wise to consult your health professional to work out which products and dosages are most appropriate for your situation.
The Chiropractors at Catalyst Health and Wellness Group are trained in the diagnosis, treatment and management of osteoarthritis, and are ideally positioned to help you prevent the development and progression of this condition. As they always say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
by Dr Kristie Lane
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