Important Things
To Know About
Osteo Arthritis

Your doctor tells you that you have Osteo Arthritis.  Then what?  

Then you find out what 'having osteoarthritis actually means (no you do not have a disease, no you do not have an illness, no you are not doomed), and then find out what to do about it to reduce pain and problem.

Osteoarthritis is the result of various simple mechanisms all working together to cause pain and problem.  And this problem you don't want to allow to become 'bad', because the worse it gets, the harder it is to reverse.

There are some important things that you need to know about osteoarthritis, and you'll find them further down the page.

What Is Osteoarthritis?

The answer to What Is Osteoarthritis? differs depending on who you're talking to.

Doctors have no idea why it's there in the first place and will prescribe drugs and rest and physical therapy.

Phsical therapists will have you stretch and strengthen and do heat and ice and ultrasound.

After months and months and years when that fails, that's when people usually find this site....

Osteo arthritis is:

  • not Rheumatoid Arthritis (see next section)
  • not a disease
  • not a 'life sentence' that you can't do anything about.  Even bone on bone can repair when dealt with adequately
  • not something you can just deal with with diet alone (that's rheumatoid arthritis)
  • not something to ignore until it's bone on bone

Osteo arthritis can be 'pain but no joint damage' or it can be 'pain -with- joint damage'.

In short, Osteoarthritis is the second half/second stage of a predictible physical, progressibe process that starts with chronic muscle and connective tissue tightness and restriction, and then continues with irritated, inflamed, and injured joint tissuue and damaged joint function.

Click on the link for a longer answer to the question What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis vs.
Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a pain dynamic caused by the body/the joint ongoingly operating in a state such that the joint is compressed.

The joint is compressed by too tight muscle and connective tissue, the joint moves and the inner linings grind and get irritated and inflammed.  Eventually the joint lining grinds away, eventually leaving the joint in a state of 'bone on bone', which can result in severe pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a result of systemic inflammation caused primarily by an auto-immune response in the body.   

This auto-immune response is primarily caused by gluten, processed vegetable oils (which are also carcinogenic), and other inflammatory foods like sugar, factory farmed corn, factory farmed and pasteurized dairy, etc.

The systemic inflammation, for a variety of reasons, causes joints to hurt.

This of course causes the Pain Causing Dynamic to dial up, which causes tightness and more inflammation, which compresses the joint and can help add osteo arthritis to an existing rheumatoid arthritis dynamic.

My suggestion is to avoid them both.  If you can't avoid them, then reverse them as fast as possible.

See:  Rheumatoid Arthritis (link to be added)

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteo arthritis symptoms consist of:

  • joint pain in one or more joints
  • ache, burning sensation, various pain related feelings in affected joint(s)
  • pain when moving affected joint(s), pain when at rest
  • reduced range of motion
  • reduced ability to function, reduce strength
  • degradation of joint structure(s)
  • eventual loss of cartilage resulting in 'bone on bone'

For more on symptoms and what exactly causes each symptom, go to the Osteoarthritis Symptoms page.

Osteoarthritis Causes

In short, Osteo arthritis is caused by the Pain Causing Dynamic. 

Over time and use muscles get tight, connective tissue shrinkwraps.  And they stay tight.  This compresses the joints these structures cross.

That compression causes the joint to grind on itself.  This causes irritation and inflammation.  This irritation and inflammation causes muscles and connective tissue to get tighter.

Repeat process.

Some people will say that repetitive motion, or repetitive strain causes this problem.  And in a sense that is correct because if you just laid in a bed in a coma for 40 years you wouldn't get osteoarthritis (you'd develop other physical problems, of course).

Poor diet and poor nutrition plays a role, and could even count as a 'cause', but the important thing to understand is that osteo arthritis is the result of a dynamic of various different factors all working together.

For a complete conversation about causes, go to the Causes Of Osteoarthritis page. 

Osteoarthritis Pain Relief

Osteo arthritis treatment comes in many forms.  Some actually helps, most doesn't. 

Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen can help get you through the day but are not a fix.

Corticosteroid injections won't help anything in the long run, but -may- be good for temporary pain relief.

Rest won't fix anything.   Immobilization will ultimately make things worse.

Doctors tend to push the same old regimen:  

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen
  • Rest
  • splints and immobilization
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical Therapy

But they don't have much of a track record for actually fixing anything.  At best, they can provide some temporary pain relief.

To find out more about Osteo arthritis pain relief and what will actually help, see the Osteoarthritis Pain Relief page. (link to be added)

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