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Monday, 26 March 2012 09:19

Coping with Arthritis for Better Quality of Life Featured

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know the ways of coping with oeteoarthritis to improve quality life.

knee painArthritis will be the biggest epidemic in India and around 65 crore population will suffer from the disease by 2013, according to a news report published in DNA. Experts said that according to the survey, nearly 70% of people above the 65years of age are suffering from arthritis in India, and it would become the biggest epidemic of the country by 2013.
This statement is sufficient to indicate the severity of the arthritis problem in India and need to take preventive measures to keep disease under control.

Understanding osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common chronic disease characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage, a part that lines the bones in joint assisting them to articulate smoothly. Destruction of cartilage within joint due to any reason favours rubbing of bones over each other and result in joint pain and stiffness. Arthritis may be primary due to ageing and wear and tear or secondary due to injury or obesity, affecting mainly knee, hip and hands joint.

Osteoarthritis is an old age disease with its incidence after 65 years of age and significantly affects female more than male. Broader hips of women may put more stress on knees for longer duration, and this may be the probable reason for gender differentiation. Initially, a person presented with joint pain and stiffness. However, over the period of time disabilities like difficulty in walking or sitting develops, which can hamper daily life.

Need for osteoarthritis awareness
Restricted activities due to worsening joint pain and stiffness limits and disturbs work as well as family life. Osteoarthritis has both financial and lifestyle impact. Financial effects are due to cost of treatment and loss of wages because of disability; whereas lifestyle impact is due to feeling of helplessness or loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Hence early identification and management are important to prevent future consequences.

Effective strategies for osteoarthritis
According to Arthritis Foundation of India Trust, the osteoarthritis sufferers can live active and better life with adoption of effective strategies such as lifestyle changes, alternative therapies and medications.

Ø Lifestyle changes

  • Regular exercise

Regular exercise is a cornerstone in the prevention of osteoarthritis-related disability. ‘Always keep moving’ is held true for arthritis, because if you move less due to pain, you lose the ability to move further and this result in the disability. Exercises keep joint moving and lubricated and strengthen the supporting muscles surrounding the joint.

Leg swings, leg extensions, knee rocks and straight-leg raising are some of the good exercises for hip and knee arthritis. You can learn them for your physiotherapist or fitness trainer to perform at the most effective level.
Don’t try exercises that exert more force on the joint such as running, jogging or jumping.

  • Control body weight

Excessive body weight put more stress on joints, especially keen joints and enhances wear and tear increasing pain and stiffness. So the body weight must be control with weight management techniques such as exercises, burning body fat and diet control.

  • Eat healthy

Expert’s advices eating foods enriched with vitamin C, D, beta-carotene and omega-3-fatty acid for reducing progression of osteoarthritis.
Antioxidant property of vitamin C, D and beta-carotene prevent free radical induced cartilage damage. Additionally, Vitamin C increases the formation of collage and proteoglycans, both are major components of cartilage. Vitamin D favors calcium absorption and healthy bone growth, while omega-3-fatty acid reduces arthritis associated joint inflammation.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish are good sources of these food components.

  • Learn self-care techniques

Self-care techniques immensely help a sufferer to reduce dependency on family members. Self-care techniques are simple methods such as avoiding joint overuse and repetitive injury, exercising, eating healthy, taking adequate rest and sleep, staying positive and motivated, socializing and relaxing. Such techniques help to maintain mental stability, and improve physical health.

Ø Getting relief with Complementary and Alternative Medicines

  • Thermotherapy and Cryotherapy

Thermotherapy means application of heat which improves circulation and relaxes muscles. It is usually done with heating pads, hot-water bottles, paraffin wax or hot towels.
Cryotherapy means application of cold which reduces muscle spasm and joint swelling. It can be done with cold compresses or ice pack.

  • Hydrotherapy

Hubbard tank hydrotherapy relives joint discomfort and promotes muscle relaxation in arthritis person.

  • Acupuncture

In one clinical trial, acupuncture is found to offers good results in reducing pain intensity.

  • Yoga

Various postures practiced in yoga strengthen the joints and improve outcome.

  • Chiroptactic

Chiropractic had been found effectiv in treatment of arthritis of all joints specially knee joints. It helps to reduce inflamation also relieves the stiffness of joints. 

  • Alternative medicines

Homeopathy, Ayurveda and Naturopathy are know for effective treatment of arthritis without any side effects of medicine while providing better quality of life to patients.  

Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs minimise pain severity to some extent. Other medications good for improving joint function can be taken with doctor’s advice.

In severe cases of knee arthritis, patient  is advised to undergo joint replacment. Knee replacement had been found very effective in improving quality life of patient with great success rates of the surgery.

These are the simple but effective strategies for improving quality of life in arthritis sufferer.

related reading

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Total Knee Replacement- information about surgical procedure preparation, risk and complication

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Read 11348 times Last modified on Monday, 26 March 2012 14:55


  • Comment Link anatomy of the knee Monday, 21 May 2012 00:50 posted by anatomy of the knee

    Knee injuries generally take place in the course of exercise or
    recreational activity. Hence, all of us need to understand more in
    relation to knee injuries in order to escape from that. Visit http://www. to understand more in regards to knee pain symptoms,
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  • Comment Link Jamie Floyd Sunday, 01 April 2012 20:31 posted by Jamie Floyd

    I have an easy fix for all of these bone degenerating problems! Arthritis does not have to exist. The only reason we have disease today is because of lack of knowledge. Once the population is properly educated, we can wipe this scourge from our planet. This DOES NOT involve the pharmaceutical industry! For more information please visit:

  • Comment Link Sadanand Dixit Wednesday, 28 March 2012 21:40 posted by Sadanand Dixit

    daily exercises and aroma oil massage lubrication to intestine cures it slowly.

  • Comment Link Dr. Stephen Wednesday, 28 March 2012 21:36 posted by Dr. Stephen

    eliminating inflamatory foods, and ozone therapy

  • Comment Link Padmini Menon Wednesday, 28 March 2012 13:05 posted by Padmini Menon

    One of the most effective self care techniques available for arthritis sufferers is the Alexander Technique. It complements any medical and therapeutic regime which the patient may be undergoing.
    It works by teaching the learner to stop putting unnecessary stress on their joints, and using less tension generally in all their actions. This helps the person to move more easily and encourages whatever healing is possible.

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