Joints and their degeneration. Osteoarthritis.
Joints and bones need a constant supply of suitable building and regenerating substances for their proper function. These include, in particular, proteins for the formation of collagen fibers, vitamins and minerals. Collagen, vitamin C and vitamin D, calcium and magnesium are essential for painless movement and for proper nutrition of articular cartilage, which cannot regenerate on its own.
Collagen is the main protein of joints and elastic articular cartilage. It strengthens and connects tissues, while giving them flexibility and strength. Synovial fluid as a joint lubricant is made mainly of hyaluronic acid. The higher its concentration, the higher the cartilage's resistance and elasticity. Vitamin C contributes to the overall resistance of the body, and at the same time to maintaining healthy joints. Vitamin D is essential for bone density and dental health, maintaining a mineral balance between calcium and phosphorus. Loss of articular cartilage leads to the development of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that results in limited movement of the joint and subsequent damage. This condition occurs with increasing age and is caused by excessive strain on the joints. It causes loss of articular cartilage and excessive growth of bone tissue around the joint. Bone growths cause pain that escalates as the disease progresses.
Osteoarthritis can be accelerated by joint injuries and fractures with cartilage damage, rheumatic and metabolic diseases, obesity and excessive joint overload, especially in elite sports. It occurs in any joints, especially in the load-bearing ones that we load the most, such as the hip, knee and shoulder. Small joints of the legs and arms may also be affected. It is a painful and movement-limiting condition that often needs to be treated with surgery in advanced stages.
Osteoarthritis can be treated but no longer cured. The goal of joint osteoarthritis treatment is to relieve pain and slow the progression of the disease. Drug treatment with nonsteroidal antirheumatic drugs is usually used to relieve pain and inflammation, active rehabilitation without stress and physical therapy of the affected joints is usually started. Surgical treatment is indicated only in the severe stages of the disease by artificial joint replacement.
The ideal prevention of osteoarthritis is to maintain optimal weight, good physical condition, exercise of joint and muscle mobility and, of course, also suitable nutritional supplements (eg ProFlexen).