A study conducted by researchers at University of California, San Francisco (USCF) has shown that people at risk for osteoarthritis can postpone or even stop it with a few easy changes in their physical activity.
Dr. Thomas M. Link, professor of radiology and chief of musculoskeletal imaging and head researcher of the study states the findings of their study reveals doing high impact activities such as running for more than one hour daily at three times a week seems to be linked with deteriorating cartilage and possibly a greater risk for developing osteoarthritis. On the flip side of exercise, participating in light exercise and stopping constant knee bending activities may guard against the start of the disease.
Osteoarthritis a degenerative joint disease which causes pain, swelling and stiffness. It is the most common type of arthritis affecting 27 million Americans over the age of 25.
To conduct the study, researchers recruited 132 participates who had no signs of the disease but were at risk for knee osteoarthritis that were enrolled in National Institutes of Health Initiative, along with 33 age and body mass index matched controls. The participants included 99 women and 66 men between the ages of 45 and 55. The participants were divided into three exercise and strength training levels. The division was made based on their answers to the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PSAE) questionnaire. The exercise levels included stationary, light exercise and moderate to strenuous. Strength training groups included none, minimal and frequent. Knee bending activities also were examined.
MRI exams had shown participants of light exercises had the healthiest knee cartilage among all exercise levels. Participants with minimal strength training had healthier cartilage than participants with either no strength training or frequent strength training.
In women who did moderate to strenuous exercise and did any type of strength training had been linked with higher water content and more deteriorated collagen structure of the knee.
The findings for that group had shown that moderate to strenuous exercise possibly speeds up the cartilage degeneration, placing these women at a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Also, the results had shown that frequent knee bending activities like climbing a set of 10 stairs daily, lifting objects over twenty-five pounds or squatting, kneeling or deep knee bending for a minimum of thirty minutes a day, was linked with higher water content and cartilage abnormalities.
Dr. Link states known risk factors for cartilage degeneration include excess weight, knee injuries, frequent knee bending and severe or strenuous activities.
Osteoarthritis risk can be reduced by people through maintaining a healthy weight and not participating in risky or strenuous activities. Lower impact sports like walking, swimming or using an elliptical trainer possibly are more beneficial than high impact sports such as running or tennis.
Dr. Keegan K. Hovis, B.S., R.N., research associate in the Department of Radiology at the university and co-writer of the study remarks that the results show that light exercise, especially frequent walking, is a safer choice in maintaining healthy cartilage.
Osteoarthritis cannot be cured but treatments can reduce the symptoms and reduce the destruction of the joints and other complications.
Many persons seek alternative treatments for the prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis mainly due to the fact not only are they all nature and do not carry side effects as many medication but also because they have been proven effective. Listed are a few of the alternative treatments which are available for osteoarthritis.
Chiropractic care is noted as the main treatment for arthritis. Chiropractors can recognize the earliest changes in the joints. They can notice the impact of degenerative changes spine, hips, knees and other weight bearing joints. They can relieve pain and improve joint functioning through many therapies which include manipulation, trigger point therapy and some massage techniques.
They can also recommend nutritional advice, herbs, supplements and exercise which are right for you to do. If your joints are swollen, inform your chiropractor and inquire about other natural drug free pain relief options. Heat and ice therapy usually is recommended by chiropractors.
Acupuncture treatments for the relief of osteoarthritis pain have been shown to be effective. Treatments usually start out at twice a week for eight weeks. Acupuncturist will decide how often you will need treatments for regular routine care.
Yoga has helped persons with osteoarthritis. Yoga improves mood, self-awareness, range of motion, relaxation, blood circulation, stress and pain reduction.
Vitamins A and E provide protection against osteoarthritis. Vitamin D and calcium are recommended to build bone strength. Calcium is recommended at 1,000 to 1,200 mg each day. Vitamin D current guideline is 400 IU each day.
There are many Chinese herbs and formulas used for arthritis. A Chinese medicine practitioner can advise you which ones to use after they have conducted a full exam.
Cinnamon and peony are two herbs used for joint pain.
Ginger which is a natural anti-inflammatory.Sources:
Medical News Today
American Chiropractic Association
Solve Your Problem
E Medicine Health