Osteoarthritis is a common disease that affects the joints of many older people. Mostly people just call it reumatihism. In this article we will talk about the causes of osteoarthritis and the signs of this disease. We continue with describing the areas of where the disease occurs most commonly and what you can do to help yourself with magnetic therapy, if you have osteoarthritis.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is osteoarthritis?
- 2 Joint pain
- 3 Arthritis – osteoarthritis: the difference
- 4 What are the causes of osteoarthritis?
- 5 Causes of secondary osteoarthritis
- 6 The signs of osteoarthritis
- 7 The most commonly affected areas
- 8 The treatment of osteoarthritis
- 9 How do we stop osteoarthritis?
- 10 Exercises for when you have osteoarthritis
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a disease in which wear and tear of the joints is caused by the disappearance of cartilage in the joint. These degenerative changes in the joints and its associated structures are accompanied by pain and impaired mobility.
Loss of joint fluid, thinning and cracking of cartilage, and ultimately bone damage, destroys the joint and causes severe pain.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that most often affects the elderly: 80% of the population over the age of 55 have osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic, slowly progressing process that can be stopped. So go ahead and continue reading, you might be able to find a solution for yourself.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by the disappearance of articular cartilage. When the disease is in its advanced stage, formation of abnormal bone growth appears on the edges of the articular surfaces. Joints become deformed and limited mobility may occur.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that primarily causes joint pain. Because the disease itself is a wear and tear of the joint, it causes pain. This is also the first indication that something is wrong in the joint and that is time to visit a doctor.
Arthritis – osteoarthritis: the difference
Joint pain is also caused by ARTHRITIS, which also often develops from wear and tear. Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that also causes pain in the affected joint.
The difference between osteoarthritis and arthritis is that osteoarthritis does not have inflammatory parameters like arthritis does. Inflammation in the joint most often develops from osteoarthritis. Both diseases are intertwined.
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints and, just like with osteoarthritis, causes joint pain. But at the same time it also has some different symptoms. More >>> symptoms of the arthritis
What are the causes of osteoarthritis?
The causes of osteoarthritis are different, but the reason is mostly mechanical, when the cartilage in the joint wears out or it gets damaged. That means that the main cause of osteoarthritis is wear and tear, damage or disappearance of cartilage in the joint.
The causes of cartilage wear and tear are different, depending on whether the osteoarthritis is a primary or a secondary disease.
Causes of primary osteoarthritis
- hereditary – the cartilage is not as resistant as otherwise,
- hard physical work,
- excessive strain in sports,
- incorrect posture, for example when sitting at work, by the computer.
Causes of secondary osteoarthritis
When it comes to the secondary osteoarthritis, the cause for it is another disease or condition. Some of the reasons for the secondary osteoarthritis are:
- joint injury (fracture),
- unequal limb length,
- being overweight and thus causing excessive strain on the joints, especially the lower extremities,
- arthritis, diabetes, etc.
The first sign of this disease is pain in the morning, accompanied by strange noises from the joints. All of these subside, when the joints warm up.
Osteoarthritis cannot be cured. The only thing that can be done is to alleviate pain and prevent the progression of wear and tear.
Why does cartilage wear out?
Since the cause of osteoarthritis is the wear and tear of cartilage, we are interested in what cartilage is, what it is made out of and why it wears out.
Cartilage is a gel-like substance that allows the joint to glide along the surface smoothly and with minimal friction. The cartilage composition is very specific so that it can have the exceptional mechanical properties. It is composed of 80% water, and it is surrounded by a solid connective framework called the matrix.
Cartilage tissue is poorly circulated and less metabolically active, thus making it more susceptible to wear and tear.
It is known that osteoarthritis is more common in the joints of the lower extremities and spine because they are more strained (knee, ankle, toes …).
Worn out cartilage in the hip joint, advanced stage where bone is already rubbing against bone.
The signs of osteoarthritis
The signs that you have osteoarthritis do not show up instantly. It’s a slow and gradual progression. Some people don’t consider these signs to be serious for a long time. They’re telling themselves that, my joint hurts but it will get better eventually. However, this is not the case with osteoarthritis. This disease progresses slowly and gradually, sadly the affected joint cannot be cured. What we can do is relieve symptoms and stop the progression of the disease. After the signs appear, the condition only gradually escalates and worsens.
The signs of osteoarthritis are:
- joint pain is at its worst in the morning when you get up, when the joint is not warmed up yet; the pain is also present in the evening, when the joint is tired and after exercise or strenuous activities,
- the swelling is present in the joint area and can be soft to the touch, which means that fluid has accumulated in the joint or you can feel hard bumps – this is abnormal bone growth and they are called osteophytes,
- impaired mobility is a morning characteristic of the osteoarthritis, when the joint is not warmed up yet or after exercise. The cause of reduced mobility is swelling and abnormal bone growth in the joint.
- crunching in the joint is typical for when osteoarthritis is in a stage where the cartilage is no longer smooth. Squeaking can be heard and felt because the bone surfaces do not slide smoothly against each other and they get stuck.
The most commonly affected areas
The most commonly affected areas in osteoarthritis are the lower extremities, which are the most susceptible to wear and tear because they carry the greatest load in our body, and the small joints of the fingers on our hands.
Knee osteoarthritis (gonarthrosis)
Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative, non-inflammatory joint disease where the cartilage in the joint wears out too quickly and causes great damage to the joint, accompanied by pain.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is called gonarthrosis and is very common because the knee is a joint that carries a lot of body weight. Unfortunately, osteoarthritis cannot be cured, we can only slow its progression and relieve the pain.
Knee pain is one of the most common of all joint pains because the knee joint carries a lot of burden.
With gonarthrosis the pain usually occurs after doing strenuous activities, for example after a long walk, or after standing for a long time. During rest, however, the pain is only present after the disease has already advanced considerably. Morning stiffness of the joint is common, but it usually does not last longer than half an hour. After prolonged sitting or resting stiffness is also possible.
A clinical study has shown that electromagnetic therapy has a positive effect on the cartilage regeneration in the knee and it reduces pain. (1)
Mr. Timotej, a Magus pad user, described it this way:
“For some unknown reason my knee started to hurt a lot. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee. I thought it made sense since I’m a construction worker and I also have a few pounds to many. My bones were worn out.
I decided to use the Magus pad, which helped ease my pain only after the first week of use. Thank you, Magus PEMF therapy!”
Magnetic therapy is a highly recommended method for treating osteoarthritis of the knee, because it works on the deep tissue and touches all the parts of the joint, including cartilage cells. It accelerates blood circulation in the knee and thus speeds up the regeneration. It has an analgesic effect and keeps the joint flexible.
Osteoarthritis of the hip
Osteoarthritis of the hip is the wear and tear of the hip joint when the cartilage in the joint wears out. Osteoarthritis of the hip is a fairly common problem in the older generations, because osteoarthritis most often affects the hip and the knee joint because they naturally have to carry the most weight.
If a patient has this joint disease, it is important that they remain active, because with proper exercise, they can maintains or even improve joint stability, mobility and muscle strength.
In the initial stage of osteoarthritis the magnetic therapy can be very helpful with slowing down the progress of the disease, it slows down the cartilage deterioration in the hip, and also at the same time has a pain relief effect.
In fact, pain and osteoarthritis of the hip can later lead to changes in the spine and pelvis.
Degenerative wear and tear and thus low back pain are very common for people who have their spinal joints worn out – due to excessive sitting, incorrect posture and improper load distribution on the spine.
Electromagnetic field therapy has proven to be a safe therapeutic method, that has also shown promising therapeutic efficacy in bone and cartilage pathologies, including degenerative changes of the spine, cervical spine, and knees. (2)
A sign of osteoarthritis is also LOWER BACK PAIN, because spinal joints are known to wear out, causing pain and discomfort.
What are the progress stages of osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a disease with a very slow progress. That is the reason that doctors often make the diagnosis late, when the wear and tear on the joint has already done substantial damage. In truth, many patients also ignore the initial signs of osteoarthritis and their visit to the doctor is late.
Three stages of progress in osteoarthritis:
- initial stage: the first image shows the bone (1) and cartilage, that is slightly thinned (2),
- moderate stage: the middle image shows the knee joint where cartilage has been completely worn out (3),
- advanced stage: the right image shows that there is no more cartilage in the joint, osteophytes (5) and bone fragments (4) are visible in the joint, all these lead to inflammation of the joint, because they irritate it.
The treatment of osteoarthritis
Treating osteoarthritis is a lengthy process, nothing can be achieved overnight, because osteoarthritis also hasn’t occurred overnight. In addition to the medication prescribed by your doctor, we advise you a healthy lifestyle:
- a healthy diet,
- suitable body weight and
- physical activity.
Conservative treatment always starts with educating the patient about the disease. The basic starting points are relieving pain in the affected joint, adjustment of physical activity and taking care of suitable body weight. Your doctor will prescribe you painkillers, intra-articular injections, or physical therapy.
Magnetic therapy is a part of physical therapy, which is very successful in the initial stage of osteoarthritis. Once osteoarthritis has progressed, magnetic therapy successfully relieves pain without side effects and helps with the regeneration of the entire joint. Using Magus magnetic therapy pad has many advantages:
- easy to use at home,
- affecting the deep tissue,
- painless therapy without any side effects,
- clinically proven positive effect (1).
Magus PEMF therapy is physical therapy at your own home. In these times you don’t even need to leave the safety of your home for a good rehabilitation or pain relief for osteoarthritis disease.
Surgical treatment is necessary when the disease has progressed to such an extent that none of the other methods help. Surgical treatment means that the doctor replaces a part of the joint or the entire joint. A total joint endoprosthesis is an operative method in which both joint surfaces of a diseased joint are replaced with an artificial prosthesis, which is firmly fixed to the bone.
How do we stop osteoarthritis?
In order to prevent osteoarthritis, we need to be careful about the correct posture, appropriate body weight and improperly burdening the joints from an early age on.
With today’s medicine even the smallest cartilage defects can be detected. Therefore, do not delay your visit to the doctor, if you suspect you have osteoarthritis.
Here are some steps to prevent osteoarthritis:
- correct exercise and constant physical activity,
- maintain suitable body weight,
- avoid forced postures and lifting heavy loads,
- regular and sensible eating habits,
- electromagnetic therapy.
Once you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, you need to think about how to relieve the pain that became your constant companion and hinders your quality of life.
We are aware that the pain can be unbearable, but you must aslo do something to keep the osteoarthritis from progressing further. Home use of magnetotherapy can be of great help in this case.
Exercises for when you have osteoarthritis
When you have osteoarthritis exercise is necessary for two reasons: it prevents joint stiffness and strengthens the muscles that surround the affected joint. Strong muscles provide the necessary support, they make your movement easier and they reduce pain.
Rest is very important part in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee is rest, but it must be balanced with regular exercises:
- sit in a chair using proper posture, then lift both your feet up to extend your legs into a horizontal position. Hold the position for a few seconds then place your feet back on the floor. Repeat.
- make correct steps,
- sit in a chair and place light weights around your ankles. Your feet should not reach the floor. This will relieve your knee joint.
- sit on a hard surface with your arms outstretched, then move your torso towards your knees (see the picture for reference).
(1): a study demonstrating effective treatment for osteoarthritis
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OSTEOARTHRITIS:
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints where the cartilage in the joint wears out.
What are the signs of osteoarthritis?
The signs are: joint pain, swelling, poor mobility, stiffness…
Is osteoarthritis curable?
No. It is possible to ease the pain and to slow down the progress of the disease or even stop the progress.
How is osteoarthritis treated?
Osteoarthritis is treated symptomatically. Your doctor will prescribe you pain medication. If the wear and tear of joints is severe, it can be treated surgically.
What happens if osteoarthritis is not treated?
It can lead to disability.
How does magnetic therapy help with osteoarthritis?
Magnetic therapy has been proven to be effective in osteoarthritis treatment, in relieving pain and inhibiting the progression of this disease.
What can you do for yourself, if you have osteoarthritis?
Health care: suitable body weight, daily activity and exercise, magnetic therapy…
My name is Tina and I have been involved in Magus magnetic therapy pad since its inception. I have a lot of knowledge about magnetic therapy and I’m learning more and more about it every day, mostly from Magus pad users and also the magnetotherapy experts.
In addition to working with my clients, I enjoy traveling and sports, I am married and a mother to two boys.