Effective Osteoarthritis Treatment: Diagnosis & Symptoms

You are not alone if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. However, there are effective osteoarthritis treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life.

In this blog, we will dive deep into understanding what exactly Osteoarthritis is, its causes and symptoms. We will also explain how it’s diagnosed and discuss different treatment options like medication, surgery, and lifestyle changes. Additionally, we’ll explore an innovative osteoarthritis treatment option called MBST that is gaining popularity due to its effectiveness. Lastly, we’ll share some useful tips on living with Osteoarthritis, managing pain and improving your overall well-being.

Here are 8 key takeaways from this article on effective osteoarthritis treatment and management:

  • Osteoarthritis breaks down cartilage and leads to joint pain/stiffness, affecting mobility and quality of life over time.
  • Main causes are ageing, overuse, previous injuries, extra weight, inflammation, and genetics. Symptoms worsen gradually.
  • Seek medical advice for persistent stiffness or pain to get properly diagnosed and explore treatment based on affected joints.
  • Medications like NSAIDs reduce inflammation and discomfort. Surgeries like joint replacement done in severe cases.
  • Lifestyle changes including exercise, weight management, therapies, and assistive devices also help manage symptoms.
  • MBST therapy is an innovative, non-invasive option using magnetic pulses to stimulate cartilage regeneration and healing.
  • Managing osteoarthritis takes consistency with treatment, pacing activities, diet, support networks and self-care for better pain control.
  • Adding MBST sessions can provide lasting relief by improving mobility, reducing inflammation and addressing the root cause of cartilage breakdown.

Understanding Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis that occurs due to the breakdown of cartilage in weight-bearing joints. This degenerative joint disease leads to joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, affecting the overall quality of life. However, lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms effectively. It’s important to note that osteoarthritis is different from other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. By understanding its impact on the body, you can take proactive steps towards managing your condition and improving your general health.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is an insidious joint condition that gradually wears away the slick, shock-absorbing cartilage meant to protect the ends of your bones. As cartilage thins and deteriorates, joints become inflamed and painful. Stiffness and limited mobility creep in, making everyday activities increasingly difficult. All the while, bits of cartilage break off and float around the joint space, while bony spurs form.

These changes scratch and irritate the joint lining, causing that fingernails-on-a-chalkboard grinding sensation. Though osteoarthritis can strike any joint, the wear and tear typically appears first in the knees, hips, fingers, and lower back – the body parts that bear most of our weight. Over time, joints can become misshapen and swollen, leading to chronic pain and loss of function.

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

Many factors are at play, but the most common are factors such as ageing, joint overuse, previous injuries, and genetics. Extra weight and inflammation can also contribute to the breakdown of cartilage. Additionally, it can develop as a result of other joint conditions or diseases. As with most things, what causes Osteoarthritis will vary from person to person

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis symptoms tend to develop gradually and can look different in each person. However, there are some telltale signs to watch out for:

  • Morning joint stiffness that eases up as you move around
  • Aching pain in joints like knees, hips, fingers, and lower back
  • Swelling or tenderness around affected joints
  • Grinding, grating, or crunching sensation in the joints
  • Loss of flexibility and range of motion
  • Difficulty with everyday tasks like climbing stairs, kneeling, or bending
  • Discomfort after periods of inactivity that improves with movement
  • Joint pain that worsens over time as osteoarthritis advances
  • Joint deformity or enlargement as cartilage wears down

It’s important to differentiate from other joint conditions. Osteoarthritis tends to impact only one side of the body initially, while rheumatoid arthritis flares in both sides at once. Gout causes sudden, severe joint pain rather than gradual onset aches.

Can Symptoms Vary with Different Joints?

Each joint may exhibit different levels of pain, stiffness, and swelling. Understanding how symptoms manifest across various joints is crucial for effective treatment and management. Seek medical advice for personalised assessment and explore targeted osteoarthritis treatment options based on specific joint symptoms.

Osteoarthritis Diagnosis

Diagnosing Osteoarthritis

If you’re experiencing persistent joint pain or stiffness, it’s important to consult a specialist for an accurate diagnosis. The diagnosis typically involves a physical examination and a review of your medical history. In some cases, X-rays and MRIs may be used to assess the condition and damage to your joints. Blood tests can also help rule out other forms of arthritis. Early diagnosis is key, so don’t hesitate to seek medical attention.

When to Consult a Specialist?

If joint pain persists for more than a few weeks or if your range of motion is limited due to joint stiffness, it’s time to consult a specialist. Don’t ignore it if the pain affects your daily activities. A rheumatologist or orthopaedic surgeon can diagnose and help treat youearly intervention is crucial to prevent further joint damage.

The Role of Age, Gender, and Obesity

Age, gender, and obesity play a significant role in the development and progression. Age is a major risk factor, as the cartilage in our joints naturally wears down over time. Women are more prone than men, possibly due to hormonal factors. Obesity puts extra stress on the joints, increasing the risk of developing and worsening of symptoms. However, making healthy lifestyle choices, including maintaining a healthy weight, can help alleviate symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition, while also promoting overall joint health.

The Impact of Age on Osteoarthritis

As we age, the risk of developing it increases. This condition primarily affects older adults, and it is often the result of natural wear and tear on our cartilage. With time, joint pain and stiffness can become more pronounced, making daily activities more challenging. Additionally, the body’s ability to repair and maintain joint structures diminishes as we get older. However, there are steps we can take to promote joint health, such as regular exercise and engaging in joint-friendly activities. By prioritising our general health and taking care of our joints, we can mitigate the impact of age.

The Influence of Gender on Osteoarthritis

Women are more prone to get it than men due to factors like hormonal changes and differences in joint structure. After menopause, women have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. It is crucial to consider gender-specific treatment approaches and early intervention for managing osteoarthritis in women. Detecting and addressing the condition early can help minimise its impact on women’s health. Overall, understanding the influence of gender is essential to ensure effective treatment and improve outcomes.

How Obesity Contributes to Osteoarthritis

Excess body weight places increased strain on weight-bearing joints, contributing to joint degeneration. It also promotes inflammation and joint damage, making obesity a significant risk factor for developing osteoarthritis in multiple joints. However, there is good news: weight loss can have a substantial impact on improving symptoms and slowing down the progression. Managing a healthy weight through a combination of a balanced diet and regular exercise is crucial for both preventing and effectively managing the condition.

Osteoarthritis Treatment

Osteoarthritis Treatment

When it comes to management, there are various treatment options to explore. Medications and surgeries are commonly used to address the symptoms of this degenerative joint disease. It’s important to find the best treatment plan that suits your specific needs, whether it’s through medications, surgeries, or making lifestyle adjustments. Additionally, there are innovative treatments like MBST that show promise in treating osteoarthritis. By considering all available options, you can take control of your condition and improve your quality of life.

Medications and Surgeries

Medications can help alleviate the pain and stiffness associated with this condition. There are different types of medications available, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen, which can reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Acetaminophen is another option that can help manage pain. Injections, including those containing hyaluronic acid or corticosteroids, may also be recommended by healthcare professionals. In severe cases, surgeries like joint replacement may be considered. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable medication or surgical option for you, taking into account the potential benefits and risks.

Lifestyle Changes for Managing Pain

Making certain lifestyle changes can greatly contribute to effectively managing your discomfort. Incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine can improve joint mobility and reduce stiffness. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight is crucial as it helps alleviate the stress on weight-bearing joints. Exploring alternative therapies such as acupuncture or using assistive devices can also provide relief from symptoms. By implementing necessary lifestyle modifications, you can take control and improve your quality of life.

MBST: An Effective Osteoarthritis Treatment?

MBST, or magnetic resonance therapy, is a non-invasive osteoarthritis treatment sometimes used to manage pain and stiffness. During MBST sessions, you sit with the affected joint placed inside a device that emits pulsed electromagnetic fields.

Researchers believe these magnetic fields help stimulate cartilage healing and regeneration deep within the joint. The pulses may also modify pain signalling and reduce inflammation.

Several studies have found MBST can provide moderate pain relief and improve mobility in osteoarthritis. Speak with our team of healthcare professionals to determine if MBST is suitable for your condition.

How does MBST therapy work?

MBST utilises magnetic resonance technology to stimulate the body’s cells, promoting cartilage regeneration and reducing inflammation.

Benefits of MBST Treatment

MBST treatment offers a non-invasive and painless solution for osteoarthritis treatment. It helps reduce stiffness and inflammation in affected joints, leading to improved mobility and range of motion. This innovative therapy promotes cartilage regeneration, ultimately reducing joint pain. MBST treatment can be used as a standalone option or in combination with other therapies, making it a versatile option. With its numerous benefits, MBST treatment is worth considering for individuals seeking effective relief.

Living with Osteoarthritis

Living with osteoarthritis presents unique challenges that can be managed with effective strategies. By adapting daily activities to minimise discomfort and maximise mobility, you can improve your quality of life. Engaging in physical therapy and occupational therapy enhances joint function.

Tips for Managing Pain and Improving Quality of Life

Explore various pain management techniques to alleviate your triggers and symptoms. Enhance your quality of life by finding effective strategies for pain relief. Maintain a balanced and nutritious diet to support overall joint health. Seek support from healthcare professionals, support groups, or online communities to cope with the challenges of living with the condition. Incorporate self-care activities, such as relaxation techniques, into your daily routine. By following these tips, you can manage pain and improve your quality of life.

Resources to help you on your journey

These links are full of valuable information on all aspects of the condition, including tips for pain management and lifestyle changes.

https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/osteoarthritis

hhttps://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/osteoarthritis

https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteoarthritis/

https://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteoarthritis

Managing osteoarthritis takes work, but you don’t have to do it alone. If persistent joint pain and stiffness are impacting your life, contact an osteoarthritis treatment specialist for guidance. Diagnostic tests can assess the damage in your joints, and your doctor will take risk factors like age, gender, weight, and injury history into account.

While there is no cure, effective treatment options like medication, surgery, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes can minimise symptoms and preserve mobility.

If you are struggling to find lasting relief from pain, consider contacting the specialists at MBST Medical. Our innovative, non-invasive magnetic resonance therapy can reduce inflammation, improve mobility, and help you reclaim your active lifestyle.

Ask about adding MBST sessions to your osteoarthritis treatment plan. Or visit mbstmedical.co.uk to learn more and schedule a consultation. Regain your comfort and freedom of movement; it is possible.

Written by

MBST UK

A community of dedicated healthcare professionals who incorporate MBST therapy into our clinical practices. We are comprised of the most qualified practitioners in musculoskeletal health, including Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists and Surgeons, and we always do what is best for each patient.

August 1, 2023

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