Morning stiffness? difficulty moving when you first get out of bed? Considering the possibility you have have arthritis, or have your primary doctor said you have osteoarthritis (OA)? Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease / "wear-and-tear". Simply put, the cartilage cushioning your joints has become damaged or worn down. The formerly smooth glide of affected joints is now grating and the result is inflammation, swelling, and pain. Diagnosis may be confirmed through an x-ray, which will typically show a narrowing of space within the join and even boney growth. Factors contributing to OA include injury, overexertion, aging, and obesity.
All of us are susceptible to OA as we get older, especially those with injuries, athletes, and military personnel with impact activities. Coastal or colder climates increase susceptibility to pain and stiffness. Fortunately, treatment options and a healthy lifestyle can decrease inflammation and pain, while improving mobility.
Today, complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture and the use of natural supplements are on the rise. Particularly effective is the combination of acupuncture with supplements such as glucosamine, fish/krill oil, tumeric, etc.
Preventative care includes careful exercise, caution with weight-bearing movement, and healthy diet.