Pain In Joints Stop You Dead In Your Tracks…
As the crisp, cool winter morning air breezes past you, a rush of joy rejuvenates childhood memories. Those were the days you gambolled in the park watching migratory birds flit from tree to tree. Forgetting yourself in the magic of the moment, you take brisk steps forward… But piercing jabs of pain in both knees stop you dead in your tracks.
Wistfully, you return to the current reality. Winters no longer herald the arrival of colourful migratory birds. Today winters portend the onset of debilitating knee pain in the form of osteoarthritis (OA) – a degenerative knee joint disease. How you wish there was a way out of this excruciating pain in the knee.
You need not despair anymore. Depending on your condition, there are multiple ways to manage osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in which the knee cartilage protecting the ends of the bones gradually deteriorates. Thereafter, the joint fluid — called synovial fluid — loses its shock-absorbing qualities. Bones may then begin to rub against each other, causing pain, stiffness and loss of movement in the joint.
Osteoarthritis is aggravated whenever the mercury dips. Low temperatures make the joints stiffer than usual & painful.
The first reaction is to reach for painkillers. While these usually provide adequate relief, their effect is temporary. Repeated long-term use of painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) without your doctor supervision can actually increase the risk of developing ulcers and several gastric problems,
Though ‘steroids’ also relieve pain and are taken for quick relief, the effect is rather momentary. Again, caution is in order, as higher intake of steroids often leads to problems and other side effects.
One way for pain relief without the systemic complications is via viscosupplementation. It’s a local solution to a local problem. The process involves removing the diseased joint fluid and replacing it with a biological substance that mimics natural joint fluid. This supplements the elasticity and viscosity in the diseased knee joint, reducing pain and improving mobility.
Commonly administered as a three- or five-injection regimen with recent advances Viscosupplementation is now available as a one-shot option for patients in the early or mild stage of osteoarthritis. With a single injection in the knee joint, patients can avoid the stress related to repeat injections & experience reduced for more than six months with minimal side effects.
It is better to consult a doctor for the best possible treatment options, since the side effects of various medications will not be known to patients.
Besides the above treatments, staying dry, ensuring adequate sunlight, exercising moderately five times a week — a 30-minute-walk is ideal — and consuming the right diet can all work wonders for your health.
Dr Karthik Pingle, MS(Ortho)Mch(ortho,UK)