If we are suffering from osteoarthritis (OA), knee pain may be an everyday reality. The most common form of arthritis, OA occurs when cartilage in our joints wears down over time. Joint pain could be experienced as early as 25, but the estimated prevalence of OA increases to 33.6% for those 65 years and above.
About 80% of persons with OA have some degree of movement limitation and 25% cannot perform major activities of daily living. OA accounts for 55% of all arthritis related hospitalisations.
- OA of the knee is 1 of 5 leading causes of disability among adults
- The number of people with OA disability is expected to double by year 2020
- The costs of OA are substantial, mainly due to indirect cost
- Costs attributable to caregivers forms 40% of indirect cost
OA can affect any joint in our body, though it most commonly affects joints in our hands, hips, knees and spine. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Pain. Affected joints might hurt during or after movement.
- Stiffness. Joint stiffness is most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.
- Crackling. You might feel a grating sensation when you use the joint, and you might hear a popping or crackling sound.
- Inflammation. This might be caused by soft tissue inflammation or swelling around the joint.
- Loss of flexibility. You might not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
- Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, can form around the affected joint.
Self-care techniques include:
- Maintain a good posture
- Avoiding grasping actions that strain our finger joints
- Use assistive devices and the strongest muscles
- Favour large joints, and spread the weight of an object over several joints
- Control and maintain a healthy weight
Supplement with Glucosamine Sulphate and Chondroitin Sulphate can help to slow down the OA progression. Glucosamine is a natural compound that is found in healthy cartilage. It can help to reduce joint inflammation and swelling, increase joint mobility and provide relief from osteoarthritic pain.
Chondroitin Sulphate is a major constituent of cartilage, providing structure, holding water and nutrients, and allowing other molecules to move through cartilage. Together they can improve the symptoms of OA.