Arthritis is a painful disorder; it can not only cause unwanted sensations in one or two of your joints, but it can also compromise your ability to do certain tasks in your daily life. Of course, just like any other condition, arthritis is something that you can control. One of the most common approaches in dealing with arthritis is through medication. However, this approach can cause harm in the long run. Medications may contain chemicals that can pose harm to your body after a certain period of time. Hence, taking the no-medicine approach is almost a must but seemingly impossible. This article talks about how exercise and weight loss can help arthritis.Read More >
We hear a lot about osteoporosis and occasionally we hear the term “osteoarthritis.” So, what is it? We found this very resourceful article on arthritistoday.org about osteoarthritis. It covers the symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, etc.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is a chronic condition in which the material that cushions the joints, called cartilage, breaks down. This causes the bones to rub against each other, causing stiffness, pain and loss of joint movement. The cause is not fully understood.
About 27 million people in America have osteoarthritis. Common risk factors include increasing age, obesity, previous joint injury, overuse of the joint, weak thigh muscles, and genetics.
Osteoarthritis symptoms usually develop gradually. At first, there may be soreness or stiffness that seems more like a nuisance than a medical concern.
Common symptoms include:
- Sore or stiff joints – particularly the hips, knees, and lower back — after inactivity or overuse
- Stiffness after resting that goes away after movement
- Pain that is worse after activity or toward the end of the day
Osteoarthritis, or OA, may also affect the neck, small finger joints, the base of the thumb, ankle, and big toe. The pain may be moderate and come and go, without affecting the ability to perform daily tasks. Some people’s OA will never progress past this early stage. Others will have their OA get worse. The pain and stiffness of more severe osteoarthritis may make it difficult to walk, climb stairs, sleep, or perform other daily tasks.
If you have symptoms of osteoarthritis, the doctor will ask questions about your medical history and perform a physical exam, as well as possibly take X-rays to confirm the diagnosis.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are medications to help relieve pain, when needed. The doctor may recommend physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT) to help improve strength and function. When pain is severe and frequent or mobility and daily activities become difficult, surgery may be considered.
Staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight are the keys to living well with osteoarthritis. Too little movement can lead to stiffness and weak joints. Losing one pound can take four pounds of pressure off your knee joints. Overall fitness improves health in many ways. Strong muscles protect joints. An OA management plan also involves eating a nutritious diet, managing stress and depression, and getting a good balance of rest and activity each day.
Article Source: http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/osteoarthritis/
The most basic definition of arthritis is inflammation in the joints. Inflammation is the body’s immune response to protect and heal us from infection and foreign substances, including bacteria and viruses. Chronic, or prolonged inflammation, results in long-term tissue destruction and may be the underlying basis to hosts of chronic diseases such as arthritis.
Research shows that there are certain foods you can eat to lower inflammation. Epidemiology studies show that populations such as the Greeks with a Mediterranean diet high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, healthy oils and fatty fish have less chronic disease including arthritis. Several nutrients may be specifically important in helping to reduce inflammation. The antioxidant, Vitamin C, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in growth and tissue repair. Essential for collagen formation, Vitamin C plays a role in helping to keep bone, cartilage and connective tissue strong, helping to relieve arthritis inflammation and pain.
The USDA recommends 75 milligrams per day of Vitamin C for women and 90 milligrams for men. Foods rich in Vitamin C include bell peppers, oranges, kale, strawberries, spinach, pineapple, and fortified cereal.
Strawberry and Kiwi Mixed Green Salad
From Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC Eating Well to Fight Arthritis cookbook, this stylish salad, light and refreshing, tossed with the sensational Poppy-Sesame Dressing, makes quite a statement.
Makes 6 – 8 servings
- 8 cups mixed greens (Bibb, red leaf, spinach)
- 1 pint strawberries, sliced
- 3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1/3 cup cane or raspberry vinegar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In large bowl, mix together greens, strawberries and kiwi.
- In small bowl, combine sugar, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion, cane vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When ready to toss salad, gradually add dressing, and serve immediately.
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 121, Calories from Fat 34%, Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 17mg, Carbohydrate 19g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugar 15g, Protein 2g, Diabetic Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 1 fat
Nutritional Nugget: Strawberries are one of the top ranking antioxidant-containing foods and research shows they may also help improve and stabilize blood sugar.
Written by: Holly Clegg, Culinary Expert
About the Author
With over 1 million cookbooks sold, Holly Clegg has become a culinary expert on easy, healthy and practical recipes through her best-selling trim&TERRIFIC® cookbook series, including the more targeted health focused cookbooks, Diabetic Cooking with the American Diabetes Association, Eating Well Through Cancer and Eating Well to Fight Arthritis. Clegg has appeared on Fox & Friends, NBC Weekend Today, QVC, The 700 Club, USA Today, Web MD and The Huffington Post. She also has a phone application, Mobile Rush-Hour Recipes. For more information, visit www.hollyclegg.com or http://thehealthycookingblog.com for more recipes and tips.
Have you noticed that your knees crack or make other noises whenever you walk, bend or stretch. Concerned about what this means, and what you can do to avoid it? Those unnerving sounds, known as crepitus, are probably what you’re hearing. In humans the knees are responsible for supporting nearly your entire body weight. Crepitus may show up unexpectedly, but it does not mean you have an underlying problem. Joint noises have been known to persist for several years without the development of significant problems. Cracking and popping, with no pain, may happen if the knee is slightly out of alignment and rubs against the tissue adjacent to it. However, if the noise occurs on a regular basis with pain, it could mean a more underlying problem. The more you weigh the more stress you put on the knees, which could cause an acute injury and osteoarthritis. Other noises can happen as a result of scar tissue or tendon snapping over a cavitation. Cavitation is vapor cavities that are found within liquid. Quinn (n.d.) explained “Cavitation frequently occurs in synovial joints when a small vacuum forms in the synovial fluid and a rapid release produces a sharp popping or cracking sound.” (Crepitus – Joint Noise Popping and Cracking, para. 2).
According to Brakke (2011) unique symptoms of knee crepitus caused by arthritis include (Crepitus in the Knee, para. 4).
- Unlike a mechanical popping where this popping sensation is painless and intermittent, the crepitus caused by arthritis is oftentimes painful.
- These symptoms are usually associated with other knee symptoms suggestive of arthritis, such as pain while walking, occasional swelling of the knee, stiffness, and so on.
- The most common initial location of arthritis in the knee is on the inside aspect of the knee.
- The sound of knee crepitus may be quite soft, but the crunching sensation is often palpable. It can be felt by placing the hand on the knee while flexing and extending the joint.
- Many things can cause the creaking or crunching sensation while flexing and extending the knee and it’s hard to tell without a full exam of the knee if this might be arthritis of the knee or other more innocent causes such as patellar motion.
Treatment of Knee Crepitus
As it has been noted cracking and popping sounds with no associated pain should not cause you to worry. Instead try performing conditioning exercises to help strengthen the muscles and joint. The less weight you put on the joint the better. If you are experiencing symptoms other than just cracking and popping in your knees you should seek a medical professional for an examination and x-rays in order to appropriately diagnosis the cause.
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- Brakke, R. (2011, July 11). Crepitus in the Knee. Retrieved from http://www.arthritis-health.com/joint/knee/crepitus-knee.
- Quinn, E. (n.d). Crepitus – Joint Noise Popping and Cracking. Retrieved from http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/injuries/a/aa092500.htm.