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  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post author
    Beacons Health



Osteoarthritis is a condition where joints become painful and stiff. It is caused by the breakdown of protective cartilage on the ends of your bones. Osteoarthritis can affect any joints but it is most common in the knees, hips and small joints of the hands. Globally, osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder, and WHO estimated that as much as 40% of the people over the age of 70 years suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee.


Some factors that can increase the risk of osteoarthritis

  • Joint injury
  • Increasing age (risk increases as you get older)
  • Family history
  • Obesity (Being overweight increases strain on the joints)
  • Females have higher risk of developing this condition



Osteoarthritis is characterized by symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, and problems moving the joint.


Other symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Grating or crackling sound when moving the joints


The severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person. For some patients, the symptoms can be mild and may come and go. Others can experience more continuous and severe symptoms that can make it difficult to carry out everyday activities.



Osteoarthritis is a long-term condition. A number of treatments are available to manage the symptoms.

  • Paracetamol should be considered as the first line treatment in relieving pain and improving physical function due to lower risk of side effects.


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  • Topical Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs eg. Diclofenac gel can be considered for short term symptomatic relief
  • Oral Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs eg. Ibuprofen and Naproxen tablets, should only be used for short periods of time.
  • Cold packs can be helpful to provide short-term relief from pain, swelling and inflammation


Patients can also try various supplements to improve their symptoms, eg.

  • Glucosamine sulfate (Pharmacological studies suggest that maximum benefit is achieved at a dose of 1500mg daily)
  • Chrondoitin sulfate sodium
  • MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)
  • Turmeric


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If your symptoms are more severe, you may need to consult your GP for further treatments and a structured exercise plan with a physiotherapist.


Lifestyle Management

These are the steps you can take to manage symptoms of osteoarthritis:


  • Regular knee strengthening and aerobic exercises can improve functional ability and reduce knee pain (regular water-based exercise or exercises in the pool is recommended)
  • Light / moderate physical activity protects joints by strengthening the muscles around joints, increasing blood flow to the joints and promotes normal joint regeneration
  • Losing weight if you are overweight
  • Wearing suitable footwear
  • Knee braces and knee sleeves may be used



  • Post author
    Beacons Health