There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but the condition doesn’t necessarily get any worse over time and a number of treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms.
The main treatments for osteoarthritis include lifestyle measures – such as maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly – medication to relieve your pain, and supportive therapies to help make everyday activities easier.
In a few cases, where other treatments have not been helpful, surgery to repair, strengthen or replace damaged joints may also be considered.
A perfect world, medications would never produce side effects, operations would always be successful, and the best movie would win the Oscar. In that world, Harvard Men’s Health Watch would be in every mailbox, and exercise would continue to prevent disease and prolong life without causing any aches and pains. For better or worse, perfection can never be achieved in the real world. It’s a wonderful world, and exercise is wonderful for health, but people who exercise do run a risk of injury.
Although exercise rarely triggers serious heart problems, they must be the first concern for everyone who works out. To protect yourself, get a check-up before you start a serious exercise program. Listen to your body for warning symptoms such as chest pain, a racing or erratic pulse, undue shortness of breath, and light-headedness, and get help if you experience any of these symptoms.
Although cardiac problems are infrequent, musculoskeletal woes are relatively common. A study of 6,313 adults who exercised regularly found that 21 percent developed an exercise-related injury during the course of a year. Two-thirds involved the legs; the knee was the most frequently injured joint.
Cervical spondylosis is usually an age-related condition that affects the joints in your neck. It develops as a result of the wear and tear of the cartilage and bones are of the cervical spine. While it is largely due to age, it can be caused by other factors as well. Alternative names for it include cervical osteoarthritis and neck arthritis.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition is present in more than 90 percent of people over the age of 65, although some have it in such small degrees that they never experience symptoms.
For some, it can cause chronic pain, although many people who have it are still able to conduct normal, daily activities.
There is one common denominator among most patients who suffer from severe cases of chronic pain: sedentary lifestyle. A majority of back, neck, and other muscle pains are related to imbalanced distribution of force throughout your body, which is created by working or staying in unnatural positions for extended periods.
What’s more, prolonged sitting and poor posture are major risk factors of not only back pain, but also of weight gain, obesity, joint problems, nerve problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, and other debilitating diseases. In fact, mounting research found that prolonged sitting is now an independent risk factor for poor health and premature death—even if you exercise regularly!
The spine is made up of many bones called vertebrae. These are roughly circular and between each vertebra is a disc. The discs are made of strong rubber-like tissue which allows the spine to be fairly flexible. A disc has a stronger fibrous outer part and a softer jelly-like middle part called the nucleus pulposus.
The spinal cord, which contains the nerves that come from the brain, is protected by the spine. Nerves from the spinal cord come out from between the vertebrae to relay messages to and from various parts of the body.
Strong ligaments attach to the vertebrae. These give extra support and strength to the spine. Various muscles also surround, and are attached to, various parts of the spine. (The muscles and ligaments are not shown in the diagram below, for clarity.)
Note: this leaflet is about a 'slipped' (prolapsed) disc in the lower back (the lumbar spine). There is a separate leaflet about disc problems in the neck, called Cervical Spondylosis.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for permanent paralysis till date. Treatment in such cases is actually mostly rehabilitation which helps the person to adapt to the compromised life and to become as independent as possible with the help of aids. It also aims to correct the complications such as pressure ulceration (ulcers which arise due to a static position on the bed that arise from paralysis).
Hypokalemic periodic paralysis is an inherited disorder in which a person has episodes of muscle weakness and sometimes severe paralysis. Treatment is given to relieve symptoms and prevent further attacks. Potassium helps prevent an attack and is either orally or, in severe cases, intravenously administered. A medicine called acetazolamide prevents attacks in many cases. Triamterene or spironolactone may help prevent attacks in people who do not respond to acetazolamide. A study from California suggested that Topiramate is also effective in cases of children.
Muscle aches are also known as muscle pain, myalgia, or simply pain in the muscles. Muscle aches are extremely common. Almost everybody has likely experienced discomfort in his or her muscles at some point.
Because almost every part of the body has muscle tissue, this type of pain can be felt practically anywhere. According to the Mayo Clinic, it usually affects a small number of muscles at a time, although myalgia throughout the body is possible
Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one to three years.
Your risk of developing frozen shoulder increases if you're recovering from a medical condition or procedure that prevents you from moving your arm — such as a stroke or a mastectomy.
Treatment for frozen shoulder involves range-of-motion exercises and, sometimes, corticosteroids and numbing medications injected into the joint capsule. In a small percentage of cases, arthroscopic surgery may be indicated to loosen the joint capsule so that it can move more freely.
It's unusual for frozen shoulder to recur in the same shoulder, but some people can develop it in the opposite shoulder.