I heard of this word last night at the hospital. Apparently osteoarthritis is a condition that affects mostly elderly people. It occurs when the cartilage that surrounds the joint area becomes frayed and in some instances, becomes completely worn away from age, years of use or injury. Without the cartilage, which acts as cushion for the joint, the bones will rub together, causing pain, swelling and possible loss of mobility.
And that was probably what happened to my mum yesterday morning in the hospital. She was checked in the hospital the 3rd time since she was first admitted in August. On Monday, she was admitted for the 3 round of endoscopy to ensure that the bandings have worked and there were no more new lesions. She was scheduled to do it on Tuesday morning but when she woke up in the morning, there was no water at the toilet at her end of the ward. So, she was asked to walk over to the other end of floor. Apparently she could not sleep the night before and having "sea-legs" and coupled with the fact that she has terribly weak knees (have been complaining about knee joints pain since a while back), she fell in the toilet. When my brother arrived at the hospital, he found her bed empty. As he walked out of her ward, found her hobbling back with blood streaming out of her face. Man, that really gave him a fright. SMSed me and the other brother. My 2nd brother went to see mum at the hospital during lunch. I was stuck at work :(
Apparently osteoarthritis is common among older people, it does not discriminate of age groups, sex and geographic areas. Regular symptoms of osteoarthritis includes the following:-
- joint soreness after periods of inactivity or even overuse
- morning stiffness that usually does not last more than 30 minutes
- swollen joints and accummulation of join fluid
- pain from weakend muscles surrounding the joing
- decline in coordination, posture and movement due to pain and stiffness
The usual treatment for osteoarthritis normally involves therapy to strengthen the muscles through exercise, application of hot and cold compresses on the painful join, oral medications, use of supportive devices such as crutches and weight controls.
Surgery, such as joint replacement surgery or arthroplasty, can be an option to consider for those experiencing severe pain, joint damange and very limited mobility.
However, I am likely to start mum on an alternative therapy, which includes chiropractic therapy and vitamins such as C and E and also glucosamine. According to a friend of mine, glucosamine is a nutritional building block required in the formation and repair of cartilage. Although naturally occurring, the level of glucosamine production in the body decreases with age. The higher the level of glucosamine, the faster the rate of cartilage formation. Studies have shown that glucosamine was able to provide pain relief similar to that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin for people with mild to moderate oeteoarthritis.
Glucosamine is extracted from crustacean shells like crab, lobster and shrimp. Read more at wiki. But there is also glucosamine to avoid. Read more here. Meanwhile, I will check with the nutritionist at the hospital for more information. If you need more information on this, let me know.