Date : 20-02-2018
Once the smooth cartilage of the joint is destroyed, it cannot b replaced by any known modern treatment. However if one keeps the muscles around a joint strong through exercise, the ill effects of lost cartilage can be minimised.
Physiotherapy is the cornerstone of treatment of osteoarthritis. in the knee it means doing what we call the quadriceps & hamstring exercises, for the hip the muscle on the side and back of the hip(abductors& gluteus maximus) need to be straightened, in the spine the muscles on either side of the center(paraspinal muscles) are strengthened, in the spine muscles on either side of the centre(paraspinal muscle) are strengthened and for the fingers, handgrip exercises are prescribed .
Water-based exercises (Swimming) are far superior to land-based exercises for osteoarthritis of almost any joint. Immersion in water makes our body lighter and restores the lost flexibility to our muscles and tendons. Light resistance training with weight / theraband is also recommended to increase muscle strength. Weight loss helps immensely by offloading the score joints. applying hot packs helps soothe the muscles around the joint. Fr acute onset pains, ice packs are recommended.
Application of an ointment or a spray always helps. The physical therapist also uses ultrasound, tiny pulses of electric current(TENS)& a special form of deep heat( shortwave diathermy) to further help heal the pain. You should take the simple precautions like not doing activities like squatting and cross-legged sitting. Using a stick for knee and hip arthritis is also very helpful.
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