Osteoarthritis, popularly known as joint calcification, is a very serious problem limiting life in the adult population. Stating that joint calcification is considered to be the cause of 24 percent of daily life limitation, Anadolu Health Center Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist, Chiropractist Prof. Dr. Semih Akı said, “In the treatment of joint calcification, especially exercises aimed at maintaining joint opening are very important. If there is a limitation in the joints, stretching exercises should be applied, if there is no limitation, exercises to maintain openness should be applied. This disease, which is slightly more common in women, is more common in joints under load and increases with age ”.
While the decrease in estrogen in women after menopause and some negative factors that develop with age cause the cartilage to wear out more quickly; On the other hand, Anadolu Medical Center Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist, chiropractist Prof. said that the increase in weight also increases the load on the joints. Dr. Semih Akı said, “Osteoarthritis affects many areas such as neck, waist, hip, knee, wrist, ankle and fingers. Its incidence varies according to age, gender and race. For example, hip and knee osteoarthritis is more common over the age of 65. We can say that its frequency increases especially over the age of 45. "Knee osteoarthritis is more common in men under 45 years old."
Joint calcification limits the patient from the beginning
Explaining that swelling and edema occur in the cartilage in the first stage of osteoarthritis, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist, Chiropractist Prof. Dr. Semih Akı said, “The body activates the healing cells in response to these, but with these cells, it also releases some substances that wear down the cartilage. In the last stage of the disease, the cartilage dissolves and thinks and the joint space becomes narrow. From the initial stage, this situation brings along some complaints that limit the patient. In the last stage, as the cartilage melts and becomes thinner, the adhesion and narrowing in the joint space cause the formation of new bone fragments and increase the problems. Having osteoarthritis somewhere on a person's body strengthens the possibility that it can occur in different areas. This is a condition that indicates the person's susceptibility to osteoarthritis, and since it disrupts the mechanical structure there, osteoratritis in the knee in the form of a chain also affects the hip and waist. "As the joint spacing changes, the center of gravity also changes and posture disorder occurs," he said.
The cause of osteoarthritis is not known exactly.
Underlining that the cause of osteoarthritis is not known exactly, but that many factors play a role in its formation, Prof. Dr. Semih Akı said, “Genetic factors come first. The causes of bony cartilage wear underlying the problem may differ according to joints. For example, one of the reasons for mechanical wear in knee osteoarthritis is excess weight. Because the joints are closer together every time people with excess weight move, the friction increases, which causes mechanical stress. Thus, the cartilage begins to wear ”found in the description. Stating that another reason is recurrent microtraumas, that is, misuse, Prof. Dr. Semih Akı said, “Excessive use of the series such as turning the head movement, which is observed especially in athletes or constantly crouching and going up and down stairs, accelerates the wear. Osteoarthritis can also occur at the ages of 25-30 when exposed to corrosive factors. Also, in the course and rate of development of the disease; "We can say that many factors are effective, such as the work done, the way the body is used, the daily lifestyle being too active or more stable," he said.
Exercise and physical therapy are important in treatment.
Underlining that the most important point in treatment is to reduce the patient's complaints as much as possible, Prof. Dr. Semih Akı said, “Today, the pain complaints of the patient can be eliminated with therapies aimed at suppressing the pain, medication or physical therapy. With the pain, the patient cannot sit and get up, making his daily activities slower and more difficult. For this reason, while reducing or eliminating pain, it is important to apply exercise and physical therapy programs to increase the joint gap and muscle strength so that the patient can continue his daily life more regularly. Especially exercises aimed at maintaining joint opening are indispensable for treatment. If there is a limitation in the joints, stretching exercises should be done, if there is no limitation, exercises to maintain openness should be done. Since osteoarthritis is a life-long disease, it should not be preferred to use drug therapy for a long time. Rather, it is a more correct approach to apply a more intense treatment in periods when the patient's pain and limitation are intense, and to treat it with exercise in other periods ”.
Exercise prevents progression of the disease
Emphasizing that exercise prevents the progression of the disease, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist, Chiropractist Prof. Dr. Semih Akı said, “The physical therapy used has a healing effect on tissues and reducing edema. Vascular expansion is provided and the blood supply in the area increases. Thus, there is an increase in the amount of food going to the region. The results of the treatment can vary in every patient. If there is weakness in the muscles due to pain, muscle strengthening exercises can be applied. Because, thanks to muscle-strengthening exercises, the amount of load on the bone can be reduced. On the other hand, in some cases, with the help of a cane, finger and splint for the wrist, corset for the waist, the patient is provided to spend his daily life more comfortably.
Stating that intra-articular injection therapy is among the methods used in the treatment of osteoarthritis in the first and second stages. Dr. Semih Akı said, “Intra-articular injections can also be applied in hip, shoulder and knee osteoarthritis. However, injection treatment is applied for short-term relief, it has no long-term effect. At the same time, it has no efficacy in advanced stage patients, ”he said.
A 5-pound increase in a person's weight increases the risk of osteoarthritis by 36 percent
Expressing that the preferred treatment option in very advanced cases is to apply a joint prosthesis with a surgical procedure, Prof. Dr. Semih Akı said, “However, since the durability of the prosthesis is limited, the surgical procedure should be postponed to the oldest age possible. Thus, it prevents the patient from having two operations, ”he said.
Underlining that weight control, regulation of daily activities and daily lifestyle is a very important part of the treatment in osteoarthritis, which is a chronic disease. Dr. Semih Akı said, “Weight control, especially for the knee, hip and waist area, is important in reducing the risk of osteoarthritis and increasing the success of the treatment. For example, a 5-pound increase in a person's weight increases the risk of osteoarthritis by 36 percent. A similar reduction reduces the risk by 10 percent for the next 50 years. Educating the patient about the course of the disease, medical medication, exercises and physical therapy is another important point in the treatment process. The patient must be informed about the arrangements to be made in daily life and the use of prosthetics and assistive devices, ”he said.
Ways to prevent joint calcification (osteoarthritis)
- Reduce your weight
- Avoid repetitive trauma
- Act with caution and act consciously
- Do not crouch, bend, or move suddenly as much as possible.
- Do not stay in the same position for a long time
- Exercise regularly
Advantages of physical therapy
- It protects your joint functions.
- It protects your muscle strength and provides mobilization.
- It helps diagnosis and treatment of accompanying diseases.
- It takes your pain and other symptoms under control.