Osteoarthritis is often called degenerative joint disease but, in fact, it is a rheumatic disorder. It can also affect younger people and not everyone who develops it suffers from symptoms. Osteoarthritis can manifest itself in all types of joints, from the jaws to the vertebrates, hips and hands. Most people however start to actually suffer from it after the age of 50.
Signs and symptoms
The shape of the joints changes considerably. The condition of the bones deteriorates and deformations appear, accompanied by chronic pain.
The actual cause of osteoarthritis is unknown. In osteoarthritis, the deterioration of cartilage causes bone ends to move closer to one another. This creates abnormalities in the underlying bone and a decline in its quality.
The body tries to increase the surface, resulting in deformities that are often visible on the outside. This causes movement pain and small pieces of the bone can even break off causing further pain. Unfortunately, moving less results in stiffness, lax muscles and a poor condition.
The typical deformations that are noticeable make it quite simple to diagnose the situation. In addition, X-ray can also provide a far clearer picture. The fact that osteoarthritis is detected by X-ray does not necessarily mean that the person actually has signs of the disorder.
Unfortunately, osteoarthritis itself cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be treated. In several studies, patients with pain from osteoarthritis have been treated with PEA. The pain caused by osteoarthritis decreases in both small and large joints.
Furthermore, in spite of the pain, it is important to keep the body in motion as much as possible so that the joints remain as flexible as possible. It is also important to watch your body weight; the heavier the load on the joints, the worse the symptoms become.
Osteoarthritis: more details
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent joint disorder. Simply explained, the joint is where two bones meet, for example at the knee or elbow. On the ends a bone we find cartilage, a type of protective layer that functions like a shock absorber. This protective layer can wear out over time, usually as a result of overload. That is what is referred to as osteoarthritis. The bone hardens and with time growths appear in the bone. Osteoarthritis is observable mainly on the hands and feet, neck, lower back, hips and knees. The disorder is accompanied by pain and stiffness during certain movements, for example when walking, bending or handling small objects. Patients with severe osteoarthritis in the knees or hips sometimes even have difficulties with walking.
Pain when starting to move is typical for osteoarthritis: for example, the first steps after sitting for a long time are painful, but afterwards it becomes manageable. Also after taxing the body for long while – for example by gardening – the pain can come up, but afterwards it disappears after a rest. Patients might also have a sudden deterioration of osteoarthritis, accompanied by a joint inflammation, pain and swelling. One of the reasons for this can be overload, for example, heavy physical work or efforts.
In the course of the osteoarthritis process, protrusions develop in the bone. The joints become thicker, develop unusual forms and develop visible knobs. These knobs make bodily movements painful. In addition, during movement, the bones rub against each other making their surface even rougher. Pieces of bone might even break off (also known as joint mice), causing further pain.
Osteoarthritis is a rheumatic disorder that can affect both young and older people. Diagnosis of osteoarthritis is based on the characteristic knobs that can be observed through the skin and on X-ray of the joints. In many people over the age of 40, X-ray photos can already detect osteoarthritis, mainly in the vertebrates and the more weight-bearing joints, such as hips and knees.
X-ray is most reliable source for confirming a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. It enables us to see the structure of the bones.
Signs and symptoms
- Visible changes in the form of the joints
- Development of lumps and knobs
- Movement problems
- Stiffness, morning stiffness and problems in starting to move
- Chronic pain especially during movement of the affected joint
Not everyone with symptoms shows the signs, has movement problems or pain. Osteoarthritis can manifest itself in all types of joints: from the joints of the jaws to the vertebrates, hips and hands.
The cause of osteoarthritis is not known. What we do know is that something occurs in the joints. Wear and tear of the cartilage causes the bone ends to come closer to one another. This causes deformities in the underlying bone. Genetic factors might play a role in osteoarthritis. This affects people at a young age and in multiple joints. Overload can also be a cause, for example, due to obesity or due to too much movement.
Osteoarthritis usually develops gradually and increases slowly with age. The disorder can remain stable for years, but there are exceptions. For example, a person who has broken a wrist can develop severe osteoarthritis in a matter of several years. Some patients have polyarthritis: they suffer from poor quality cartilage, which in the long term affects several joints.
Osteoarthritis can develop after an earlier injury or damage to/close to a joint. That might be an infection caused for example by rheumatic arthritis, a bone fracture, damaged meniscus or weak joint ligaments. The result is that the joint becomes less stable and more susceptible to damage and osteoarthritis.
Other factors that could influence the development of osteoarthritis are long-term heavy weight that bears on the joints (for example due to being overweight), heavy physical labour, too much and too intense participation in sports or other diseases of the joints, such as rheumatic arthritis, gout and/or pseudo gout.
Unfortunately, osteoarthritis cannot be healed, but the pain can be treated. In several studies, patients with pain from osteoarthritis have been treated with PEA. Osteoarthritis pain in both large and small joints react positively to treatment with PEA.
PEA is a 100% natural treatment. To get the most out of PEA, we advise you to use PEA for at least two months. If after one month, you have the feeling that PEA is still not working optimally, then perhaps you should double the dosage. Using PEA for two months is a realistic evaluation period. After these two months, you can determine your next steps. In any case, some patients take longer to react because the effect of PEA occurs via the natural mechanism of the body.
The two most common PEA products on the market are PeaPure produced by JP Russell Science Ltd, a supplement that can be ordered worldwide and PEA tablets, produced by Epitech Group S.r.l, an Italian preparation available in pharmacies in Italy and Spain, among other places.
Stay as much as possible in motion, even if it hurts, because this way your joints will remain flexible. Watch your weight; overweight leads to extra burden on your joints and can cause additional pains.
di Marzo V, Skaper SD. | Palmitoylethanolamide: biochemistry, pharmacology and therapeutic use of a pleiotropic anti-inflammatory lipid mediator. | CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2013 Feb 1;12(1):4-6.
Institute for Neuropathy Pain | Palmitoylethanolamide (PeaPure, PEA tablets): painkiller and infection inhibitor, the essence