About This Condition
Protect your joints and relieve osteoarthritis aches and pains. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
These recommendations are not comprehensive and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or pharmacist. Continue reading for more in-depth, fully referenced information.
These recommendations are not comprehensive and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or pharmacist. Continue reading for more in-depth, fully referenced information.
About This Condition
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic disease of the joints, especially the weight-bearing joints that develops when the linings of joints degenerate, leading to lipping and spurring of bone, pain , and decreased mobility and function.
OA is a universal consequence of aging among animals with a bony skeleton. Many factors contribute to the development of OA; the disease is primarily associated with aging and injury and was once called “wear-and-tear” arthritis. OA may occur secondary to many other conditions. However, in most cases, the true cause of OA is unknown.
The onset of OA is gradual and most often affects the hips, knees, fingers, and spine, although other joints also may be involved. Pain is the main symptom, which usually worsens with exercise and is relieved by rest. Morning stiffness is also common and diminishes with movement. As OA progresses, joint motion is lost, and tenderness and grating sensations may develop. OA of the spine may lead to shooting pains down the arms or legs.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Several clinical trials have examined the efficacy of acupuncture for OA, with mixed results. Some trials found acupuncture treatment to be no more effective than either placebo4 or sham acupuncture5 at relieving osteoarthritis pain. Other trials have demonstrated a significant effect of acupuncture on the relief of OA pain compared to placebo.6 , 7 A well-designed trial found that acupuncture treatments (twice weekly for eight weeks) significantly improved pain and disability in people with OA of the knee compared to no treatment.8 When the group receiving no treatment was switched to acupuncture treatments, they experienced similar improvements.
In a controlled trial, a combination of manual physical therapy (by a qualified physical therapist) and supervised exercise significantly improved walking distance and pain in a group of people with OA of the knee.9 The therapeutic regimen consisted of manual therapy to the knee, low back, hip, and ankle as necessary, as well as a standardized knee-exercise program performed at home and in the clinic. The treatments were given twice weekly at the clinic for four weeks.
The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.
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Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
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Last Review: 11-07-2012
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