Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition caused by the wearing down of cartilage, and thickening of bones in joints. Damage to cartilage cells can be caused by athletic injuries, everyday wear-and-tear, or by mechanical issues with our gait; these can all be exacerbated by obesity or genetics, too.
Osteoarthritis causes pain, stiffness, and limits range of motion. It turns basic, everyday activities, into titanic struggles. Bending down to tie your shoes, driving a car, and even getting out of bed can no longer be taken for granted when stricken by the chronic condition.
But you can take measures in managing your osteoarthritis before they become an unshakeable albatross. Check out our essential tips on how to be proactive in treating osteoarthritis:
INCURABLE DOES NOT MEAN UNTREATABLE
You can’t cure osteoarthritis but there are first line methods of dealing with the symptoms:
Excess weight places stress on your joints. Bodybuilders and obese folks afflicted by osteoarthritis symptoms need to lessen their body mass. This means improvements in diet, and exercising towards a caloric deficit.
Slow, gentle stretching can increase mobility and range of motion, while reducing pain. Coupled with an improved diet, a stretching regime can contribute to weight loss as well.
Physical therapists can provide a range of treatment options for pain management. It encourages the proper use of joints through heat and cold therapies, and a range of motion/flexibility exercises.
Massage/Active Release Therapy
Massage and active release therapies contribute to better posture, joint flexibility, more efficient movement, and better weight distribution. All of these factors can slow down the degeneration caused by osteoarthritis.
There’s always a chance that these methods aren’t enough on their own to deal with the pain, but there’s certain traps you don’t want to fall into:
THE IMPRACTICALITY OF BIG PHARMA
You can turn to pharmaceutical drugs to treat chronic symptoms, but they don’t come without side effects. Since they numb pain, pain medication can cause more damage to your joints, as you’ll be less symptom-conscious, making you more careless with your movements.
THE RAMIFICATIONS OF SURGERY
Joint replacement surgeries can be unavoidable, and a skilled orthopedic surgeon can work miracles. Still, life under the knife is a last resort.
Replacement joints can’t offer the same level of stability and performance provided by your own hip, and the recovery process is pain-filled and arduous. You’ll be stuck with pill prescriptions to deal with the pain, along with the aforementioned side effects.
THE MIDDLE GROUND: PRP AND STEM CELL TREATMENTS
PRP and Stem Cell Injections are picking up steam. They’re no longer top secret, experimental treatments exclusive to professional athletes. As time passes, these regenerative treatments are becoming a middle ground between conservative treatments like physical therapy, and surgery.
Stem cells are specialized cells that make copies of themselves, and then differentiate into various types of cells for specific functions within the body. They’re best at promoting healing in tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
Mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent stromal cells commonly found in bone marrow and adipose (fat) cells. They function as powerful signaling cells that trigger the body to send in proteins like cytokines (which slow down cartilage degeneration and regulate pain) and interleukins, a type of cytokine that helps the body dial down inflammation.
Studies suggest these stem cell treatments are effective and efficient at re-growing cartilage or curing osteoarthritis. These treatments can successfully slow down the degenerative symptoms by stimulating the body’s own regenerative properties.
BEST PERFORMED IN TANDEM
Stem Cell and PRP injections for osteoarthritis are not miracle cures, and can’t do all the work on their own. Taking further measures, such as weight management and physical therapy, will all play a part in preserving healthy, functional joints in the midst of osteoarthritis symptoms.
Whether you are starting to develop osteoarthritis symptoms, or you’ve already been through hip and knee replacements, RegenerVate’s PRP and Stem Cell injection therapies could be your path to pain-free living.