The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects millions of people across the world. Arthritis is the general term that is used to describe inflammation in joints, and osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. It occurs when the protective cartilage, which cushions the ends of the bones, gets worn down over time. This disorder can damage any joint, but most commonly afflicts the joints in the hands, hips, spine and knees. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in the joint to become stiff, lose its elasticity and this leaves it more susceptible to damage. As it gets worn away over time in certain areas, its ability to act as a shock absorber gets severely diminished. Because the cartilage gets worn away, the tendons and ligaments are stretched, which causes pain. If the condition worsens, the bones could also rub against each other, causing more pain. The type of treatment for this disorder is prescribed based on several factors such as the person’s age, the level of activity, the overall health of the person, the occupation, the medical history and the severity of the condition. The conventional medication for osteoarthritis is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, and corticosteroids as injections.
Apart from this, some non-conventional methods include exercise, applying heat and cold to the painful joints, and the use of supportive devices by patients such as crutches or canes. While the damage to the joints cannot be reversed, the symptoms of osteoarthritis can be usually managed. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, taking some dietary supplements and treatments can help improve the pain and joint function and also slow down the progression of the disease.
Many of these things, such as staying active and maintaining a healthy weight, taking dietary supplements to ensure wholesome nutrition can help ward off these diseases as well. The basic goal of the treatments is to decrease joint pain, stiffness, improve joint stability and mobility, and to increase the ability to perform daily tasks. Some of the dietary supplements are available as Vitamin D tablets, collagen supplements and glucosamine chondroitin supplements. Glucosamine and chondroitinsulphates are two nutritional supplements which are the most recommended for relief from the joint pain in osteoarthritis. These are components of normal cartilage, and are the building blocks for proteoglycans. They also stimulate chondrocytes to make new collagen and proteoglycans. In simpler terms, these supplements stimulate the production of new cartilage components, therefore they are able to help the body repair cartilage damage by osteoarthritis.
These supplements are marketed under different names with different levels of purity and different strengths. But it is strongly recommended that you consult with your doctor before starting any osteoarthritic treatments or supplements. He/she can review the supplements alongside the other drugs prescribed to you, and help you decide if these supplements are right for you or not. In addition to this, you must never consume more than the recommended dosage, as this could be detrimental.