What is Osteoarthritis?
Simply put, osteoarthritis is the wearing away or degeneration of the protective layer on the ends of your joints. Every joint in your body is covered with a smooth surface called cartilage and when that cartilage layer wears away we call it osteoarthritis.
What causes Osteoarthritis?
There are many risk factors for osteoarthritis. We’ve catalogued some of them below based on whether you can modify them or not.
Non-Modifiable Risk Factors: Age, Gender (Female), Previous Injury, Previous Surgery, Family History
Modifiable Risk Factors: Weight, Inflammation, Joint stability, Muscle Balance, Hydration, Smoking, Repetitive loading, Diabetes, Hypertension, Nutrition
How do you know if you have Osteoarthritis?
Classic findings of osteoarthritis include joint pain, grinding, stiffness, swelling and loss of range of motion of a joint. Some people have these same symptoms with autoimmune conditions or trauma so a thorough examination by a healthcare provider is always important.
Does Osteoarthritis always hurt?
No. Many people have mild to moderate osteoarthritis of their joints and no pain. The Framingham Joint Study showed for example that by the age of 60, 40% of Americans have knee osteoarthritis on Xray but only 17% have symptoms.
What are Treatments for Osteoarthritis:
What YOU can do!
-Achieve a BMI between 18-23. Extra weight wears out your joints just like bricks in the back of your car wear out your car tires. In addition, belly fat releases hormones called “adipokines” which circulate through your body and damage your cartilage.
-Reduce total body Inflammation. Studies show that the more fruits, vegetables and minimally processed whole grains you eat the lower the amount of inflammation in your body. So make every plate look like a rainbow of fresh things. You can learn more about this on our Nutrition page.
-Improve muscle balance across your joints. Studies show that if you maintain strong quads and lateral hip muscles you slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis. Other studies show that hip flexibility and gluteal strength slow low back degeneration. There are many such relationships throughout your body and working on them every day can slow the degenerative process, reduce pain and improve function. If you want to learn more about specific exercises to help your problem book a teleconsult with Dr Esser Here.
-Avoid activities that provoke your pain. If running and box jumps bother your knees, then take a 4 week break, cross train in a low impact setting like swimming, elliptical and biking and meanwhile focus on lateral hip strength before re-trialing a return to running.
What WE can do!
-We offer a powerful array of science based biologic treatments for osteoarthritis. This includes
-Steroid/Gel Injections for short term pain relief.
–IOVERA is a cryotherapy treatment to stop knee pain and is very effective.
-Lifestyle counseling and support for foundational weight loss and inflammation reduction. On average individuals who join Dr Esser’s 4 week challenge have the following results:
-15-40lbs of weight loss
-30-90% resolution of joint pain
-80% get off blood pressure medications
-80% get off their oral blood sugar medications
-Sign up Here: 4 Week Detox Challenge
-If you live in Florida and would like to have a 1 on 1 Nutritional Telehealth Consult click here: Nutrition Consult
If you have Osteoarthritis and want to know if you are a candidate for Biologic treatments or Lifestyle Interventions book a Teleconsult with Dr Esser by clicking HERE.