The incidence of knee osteoarthritis increases according to age. Currently, the average life span of the world population is 79-80 years old. Most people think it can occur only to elderly. However, nowadays, people in the middle-aged group onwards are also at risk of having this disease. Studies have shown that Osteoarthritis occur mostly, in females more than males. Patients often feel pain in the knee joints around the patella, cracking sounds at the foldable knee joints while moving and stiff or frozen joints. The knee cartilage deteriorates due to the inability to support the weight due to fluid loss from the uneven surface of the cartilage. The knee joint may be pushed to the side without the patient realizing. In some severe cases, the cartilage will become very thin. The space between the knee joints will start rubbing onto each other. Friction will then occur in the joints while moving. Slowly but surely, the patient will not be able to stand, walk, sit or carry out daily activities as per normal.
There are many treatment methods, and one of such example is oral medication. Most patients often choose this method because it is convenient and easily accessible. The types of medication are usually painkillers, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and at times steroidal drug which can only reduce the pain temporarily. This method may not be effective for everyone and when that happens, the pain will come back again. Patient will have to normally take the medication on a long term basis. Eventually, it will cause bad side effects to the body, such as to the liver, kidney, stomach plus the hormone systems. The final method of choice when conservative treatment is ineffective, is also a treatment that many patients are not willing to choose. It is known as a total knee replacement. This procedure is done to replace the deteriorated knee joint. The expenses are high and so are the risk factors.
Transformation of Knee Joint, Joint Capsule, Joint Tendon and Knee Osteoarthritis
When patients get older, they often gain weight due to a lower metabolism and abnormal internal structure in the joints. The list of impacts are as follows:
The surface of the knee joint, which is cartilage, begins to deteriorate. The skin surface becomes uneven. Joint movements are jammed, stiff or sound like sandpaper rubbing (while in motion).
Weight distribution of the articular cartilage starts to thin and become abnormal, which causes problems with weight support.
The joint capsule becomes more irritable and inflamed. There will be more fluid in the joint, which causes pain, swelling and heat.
The muscles around the knee joint become weaker. The joint surface will receive more impact.
Some parts of the joint tendon will lose their tension, which causes swaying, loose joint or an increase in abnormal movement.
The leg axis will become abnormal from the weight gain. The joint tendon will become flabby, which causes the knees to look bent and the legs to look twisted.
The bones will develop awkwardly inside the joint, causing less movement in the joint. The knee joints and their surroundings will also become thinner due to lack of movement.
Treatment Methods of Integrative Medicine
For knee osteoarthritis, early diagnosis and proper treatment by integrative medicine allows patients access to a personalized treatment program. An example of such programs are as follow:
restructuring to reduce burden to knee join
creating balance lifestyle which includes specific food
activating the blood circulation system around the joint
weight loss techniques
specialized exercises to strengthen the muscles and tendon system
Apart from the above, Functional Medicine Approach pathway will also be introduce as part of the treatment. This is the use of osteoblast extract to activate self-repair of the joints. In the United States of America, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a treatment method to strengthen the joints, which is made from a combination of hyaluronic acid and one’s own cells. Many research studies using cells from purified cord blood derived mesenchymal stromal cells, can better activate the building of joint surfaces. This technique can be applied to anyone without the need of any compatibility testing.
Research has proven that the science of Functional Medicine Approach can effectively cure degeneration by a very remarkable margin, but it will take time due to the natural healing process. Surgery which is the conventional approach in turn works more immediate but may add complications to those with secondary conditions. Therefore, the Integrative Medicine approach is extremely suitable for those who cannot undergo surgery due to risk or for those who prefer a natural and non-invasive treatment method.
Tips to avoid knee osteoarthritis
Exercise regularly and making adjustments to promote a healthier lifestyle are essential factors. Avoid walking up and down stairs. Do not bend or over use the knee joints. Most importantly, for excellent holistic health, you should try to practice in accordance to the principle of “The 5 Aor for Health”:
1. Happy and positive emotions
2. Healthy and safe food and drink
3. Use Exercise as medicine
4. Detoxify the body and mind
5. Be generous and learn to forgive
Remember, A Healthy Heart makes a Healthy Mind which in turns will bless you with a Healthy Body.