Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis experienced by Indians. It is prevalent in 40% of the Indian population. Individuals start experiencing pain and stiffness in their knee/s in their early 40s. This results because of repetitive damage faced by the joints over the years.
When the cartilage – the slick, cushioning surface on the ends of bones – wears away, articular ends of bone rub against each other, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Over time, joints lose strength and pain becomes chronic. In the X-ray it can be seen as a reduction in joint space, usually starting from the medial aspect. Risk factors include excess weight, family history, age, and history of the previous injury.
Why does it happen in mid-life and not before?
-Our body has a healing mechanism. Whenever there is certain damage the body starts to heal itself, but, as we age, the healing process slows down.
What can we do about it?
When the joint symptoms of osteoarthritis are mild or moderate, they can be managed by:
-using hot packs
-regular physical activity
-maintaining a healthy weight
-strengthening the muscles around the joint for added support
-using assistive devices
-avoiding excessive repetitive movements
If unattended the knee arthritis often aggravates ‘bowing of legs’ i.e the legs are deformed and become similar to a bow.
In severe cases, the individual has to go through a surgical procedure called Total Knee replacement or partial knee replacement (depending on the severity)
However, a combination treatment of Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Physiotherapy helps in cartilage regeneration, improves the joint lubrication, reduces the inflammation and strengthens the surrounding muscles, and halts the progressive nature of the dis-ease.