It is also called as age related arthritis. Seen to be the inevitable accompaniment as age advances. It is a degenerative arthritis, due to constant ‘wear and tear’ which prominently affects the weight bearing joints, the knee, hip, spine, shoulders especially and also small joints. The hallmark is progressive loss of the cartilage between the articulating surfaces of weight bearing joints. This leads to a disharmony in the process of bone remodelling and results in formation of osteophytes or abnormal bone tissue which causes symptoms mechanically due to pressure effects.

Osteoarthritis can occur secondary to trauma, meniscal injury or inflammatory changes in the joint.

What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Pain in the affected joint is most frequently the only presenting symptom. Pain comes on after walking and in the morning and is better at rest. This may be accompanied by stiffness.

Limitation of joint movement is another feature. The patient may complain of weakness in the joint, as if it is unable to support the weight of the body.

If a part of the cartilage has chipped away, it leads to the formation of a loose body which manifests as sudden locking of the joint during movement.

In elderly patients, nodes appear near the finger joints as a part of this disease process.

Involvement of the cervical spinal joints gives rise to radiating pains in the neck, shoulder and arms. If the bony outgrowths impinge upon the arteries, patient may complain of giddiness, difficulty in walking or hearing abnormal noises in the ears. When the lumbar spinal joints are involved, there is similar pain in the lower back which may radiate to the buttocks and legs.

In long standing diabetes mellitus, due to neuropathic damage, the joint surface is eroded and osteoarthritis sets in leading to further destruction.

Role of Homoeopathy in treating Osteoarthritis

Reducing the discomfort to the patient remains to be the primary focus of the Homoeopathic physician. Keeping the patient free from pain and stiffness, helping the cartilage in rejuvenation and restoration and ensuring adequate joint mobility and strength is a goal frequently met with after initiation of Homoeopathic treatment.

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