What is osteoarthritis?
Arthritis is defined as the degeneration of one or more joints, resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness and reduced range of motion. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. It is characterized by the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, resulting in pain and stiffness.
The cartilage that covers the ends of the bone in our joints is what allows them to glide smoothly over each other and absorb shock. In people with osteoarthritis, this cushioning tissue wears away, causing the bones to rub against each other. This rubbing causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of joint function. Over time, it can cause bone spurs and misshapen joints. Pieces of bone can even break off and move through the joint, causing other problems. The three most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
- Painful or aching joints
- Stiffness and ‘creaky’ joints, especially when getting up in the morning
- Weakness in the muscles around the joints
- Swelling of the joints (osteoarthritis does not usually cause much swelling)
- Deformed joints
- Reduced range of motion and loss of use of joints
- Crunching feeling (creaking or the sound of bone rubbing on bone) in the joints
- Problems sleeping
Factors that can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis include:
Carrying extra weight puts added stress on the weight-bearing joints, such as the knees and hips.
A joint injury may increase the risk of osteoarthritis later on in life.
Oftentimes, osteoarthritis develops with age, with no other obvious causes.
Women are more likely than men to develop osteoarthritis.
Occupations, sports or hobbies that put repetitive stress on a joint can eventually lead to osteoarthritis in the affected area.
Being born with malformed joints may lead to degeneration and osteoarthritis.
It is believed that some people are born with a tendency toward arthritis.
Traditional western medicine has no permanent cure for arthritis and treats it with a combination of ongoing medication, physical therapy and possibly surgery. The medication will generally be either a steroid, an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) or a painkiller. NSAIDs have powerful side effects and can cause secondary issues, such as stomach problems, including bleeding and ulcer, abdominal pain, fluid retention, kidney problems, heart problems, rashes and more. In fact, NSAIDs have recently been found to be more dangerous than previously thought. The FDA is now strengthening their warning that even the over-the-counter strengths can cause heart attacks or strokes. This course of treatment puts patients on a fast track to ever increasing doses of an ever increasing potency anti-inflammatories and pain-killers. These treatments have been shown in countless studies to accelerate arthritis and increase the need for total joint replacements.
At the Magaziner Center, we believe in treating osteoarthritis naturally- by giving the body the tools it needs to heal itself. We have several treatment options, such as prolotherapy, platelet rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy, designed to repair the joint, rather than simply suppressing the symptoms while the joint continues to degrade.
We have successfully treated patients for whom traditional therapies did not work, as well as those who did not want the risk or side effects associated with long-term NSAID or pain drugs.
Why settle for a lifetime regimen of medication, some with side effects worse than the original condition? There are options. There is help- and you’ve just found it.