Osteoarthritis is an inevitable consequence of getting older:
It is commonly thought that osteoarthritis is due to wear and tear as we age – but this isn’t inevitable and is far from the full story. There are several factors thought to increase the risk of developing the condition including genetics and having a joint injury in the past, especially if it was overused before it was given enough time to heal. Recent studies suggest osteoarthritis may be caused by activation of a chain reaction in the bodies defence mechanism causing low grade chronic inflammation.
Regular massage therapy can lead to improvements in the sypmtoms of osteoarthritis:
Recent studies on the effects of massage for arthritis symptoms have shown regular use of massage therapy led to improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength and overall function of the joints.
Osteoarthritis is made worse by being big and heavy:
It isn’t so much about how big you are but more about how much fat you are carrying. Interestingly, the loss of body fat is more closely related to symptom relief than the loss of body weight, it has been suggested that there may be a metabolic link to body fat as opposed to just excessive strain on the joint.
British Medical Journal
Massage therapy is useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee:
Massage therapy can have a positive effect in the treatment of OA of the knee, with beneficial effects lasting for weeks following treatment. Massage therapy seems to be well tolerated by people with painful OA of the knee.
Journal of the American Medical Association – internal medicine
X-rays are the best way to diagnose osteoarthritis:
In fact x-rays aren’t especially useful in diagnosing osteoarthritis and can be misleading. The severity of the symptoms may be totally unrelated to how the joint appears on x-ray. The majority of people over 40 show some signs of osteoarthritis (seven out of ten people over the age of seventy show signs) although most don’t develop symptoms. On the other hand some people have a perfectly normal x-ray but suffer excruciating symptoms.
Massage can lead to reduction in pain for people with arthritis:
Regular massage of muscles and joints, can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis, according to Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
Bats and sloths are the only known animals that do not develop arthritis
It has often been quoted that bats and sloths are the only known animals that do not develop arthritis – the reason being that they don’t put as much pressure on their joints because they hang upside-down. Nice theory, but not true! – bats have been found with arthritis of the knee and carpal joints.
Osteoarthritis causes nodes on the finger joints:
Bony enlargement on the end joints of the fingers (Heberden nodes) or on the middle joint of the fingers (Bouchard nodes) are a sign of osteoarthritis of the hand.
Joints are like the bearings on a car which wear out the more you use them:
Cartilage in the joints isn’t inert; it is living tissue capable of regeneration. Recent research showed that running significantly reduced arthritis and hip replacement risk. The benefits of exercise include lower body fat and stronger muscles protecting the joint (studies have shown that people with weak thigh muscles are more likely to develop osteoarthritis).
Osteoarthritis pain usually worsens through the day:
Osteoarthritis pain tends to get worse through the day whereas other types of arthritis tend to be worse in the morning or remain the same during the day.
However, osteoarthritis can cause stiffness in the morning but this usually lasts for less than half an hour.
Cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis:
Doctor Donald Unger cracked the knuckles of his left hand every day for more than sixty years, but he did not crack the knuckles of his right hand. He did not develop arthritis or other ailments in either hand. This earned him the 2009 Ig-Nobel Prize in Medicine, a parody of the Nobel Prize. Researchers from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, carried out a study – “Knuckle Cracking and Hand Osteoarthritis” – published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (April 2011 issue). This did not show any link between knuckle cracking and osteoarthritis. If cracking is accompanied by pain, there could be underlying abnormalities of the structures of the joint, such as loose cartilage or injured ligaments. No one knows for certain what causes joints to crack but the most likely theory involves cavitation within the joint— where small cavities of partial vacuum form in the synovial fluid and then rapidly collapse, producing a sharp sound.
High heeled shoes can increase your risk of osteoarthritis:
Although no type of shoe can prevent osteoarthritis some types are better than others. Flip flops and tennis shoes with flexible soles can ease the symptoms of OA and (oh no!) high heels can make it worse.
Cod liver oil ‘lubricates’ the joints:
It’s not true that cod liver oil ‘lubricates’ the joints, but they have been found to help relieve pain and inflammation if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. They are also showing some promise in people who suffer from osteoarthritis.