Osteoarthritis is known by many names such as: degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis. Simply put osteoarthritis means worn joints. The cause of osteoarthritis is the degeneration of cartilage in the synovial joints. Cartilage is found between bones and joints providing cushioning; it allows bones to glide over one another. When the cartilage wears away then the bones rub against one another causing pain. Additionally, muscles and ligaments around the area become weaker. This is a normal part of aging and by 35 almost everyone has at least one worn joint. In fact, it is the most common joint disease and affects 1 in 6 Canadians aged 15 and older with women being more susceptible than men (4). However, the greatest factor causing OA in society is obesity. There are other causes of OA which include genetic defects, trauma, metabolic dysfunction and repetitive use (think athletes). The most common joints that are affected are those that are weight bearing such as knees, feet, lower vertebrate, hands and hips. The symptoms associated with OA include stiffness and a decrease in range of motion. Individuals may often feel a rubbing sensation in the area and find they are stiff and need to “warm their joints” before starting their day.
In the past it was believed that OA was incurable and irreversible. The only thing that could be done was surgical replacement of the joint or to prescribe patients anti-inflammatories to alleviate the pain. However; these same anti-inflammatories that reduce the pain of OA were found to exacerbate the condition (2). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin are very effective at reducing pain and inflammation. They are also very dangerous to take and can cause cardiovascular problems, internal bleeding, gastrointestinal problems and kidney and liver problems (5). In addition, they accelerate the rate of cartilage destruction and prevent cartilage repair (6).
Recent research is finding that you can halt the progression of OA and in some cases reverse it (7). Dr. Mason-Wood has had great success at treating OA. His treatment strategy involves reducing pain and chronic inflammation, reducing the factors that are causing joint destruction, stimulating cartilage regeneration and repair and then restoring and maintaining joint mobility. During treatment Dr. Michael Mason-Wood will create an individual treatment plan employing various modalities of treatment to ensure you don’t have to live with pain anymore. Some of the modalities of treatment he will employ to treat you include:
Injection Therapies: Dr. Mason-Wood most often employs PRP therapy and prolotherapy in the treatment of OA. These injections work by increasing blood flow to the area of injury which results in tissue regeneration. Visit the injection therapy area of the website to learn about these therapies and how they can help you!
Nutrition: It has been found that diet plays a huge role in halting and reversing OA (7). Diet both helps reduce weight and inflammation. A diet to treat osteoarthritis should include: complex carbohydrates high in fibre, at least 8 cups of water a day, avoiding foods that are known to cause inflammation (meats high in fat, cooking oils, caffeine, and processed foods) and eating foods known to reduce inflammation (fish oils, dark green vegetables and dark red or blue berries).
Exercise: Regular exercise can help you reduce the burden on your joints while strengthening them.
Botanicals: Herbs such as Yucca leaf, Devil’s claw, and Alfalfa leaf can reduce inflammation and help repair cartilage.
Supplements: Glucosamine sulphate has been found to help reduce pain and stiffness in those suffering from OA (8). Magnesium helps to relax tight muscles, which helps relive joint pain. Additionally there are many other supplements that aid in recovery from OA which Dr. Michael Mason-Wood may recommend.
Physical Therapy: Manipulation therapy, acupuncture and hydrotherapy may all help reduce pain and inflammation and promote tissue regeneration. By allowing an adequate flow of blood to the area of pain the body can begin to heal itself.
4. www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ac/ac_2e.html (Accessed on July 19, 2013)