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Osteoarthritis and Chronic Pain

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic pain, and the most common form of arthritis. It affects millions of people around the world. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down. It can affect any joint in your body, but most commonly affects knees, hips and spine. It can be effectively managed, but the process cannot be reversed.

There are increased risk factors for developing osteoarthritis:

- Age: Risk increases with age.

- Sex: Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis.

- Obesity: Extra body weight can cause more stress on joints that can lead to osteoarthritis.

- Joint injuries: Things like sports injuries or doing repetitive tasks, like at work, can increase your risk.

My mom suffers from osteoarthritis pain, especially in her hands. She was getting great relief when I had her on Turmeric and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, in addition to her prescribed Celebrex. However, she developed a life-threatening upper gastrointestinal bleed and had to stop all three of those therapies.

Celebrex is a COX-II inhibitor and, although has slightly lower risk of GI bleeding than traditional NSAIDS which inhibit both COX-I and COX-II (like ibuprofen and naproxen), it still causes an increased risk. Both Turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids, two of my favorite anti-inflammatory supplements, inhibit platelet aggregation, which can increase your risk of bleeding.

Welcome S-adenosylmethonine (SAMe) and glucosamine. SAMe is made from the amino acid methionine and ATP. Glucosamine is a precursor molecule to major components of cartilage. Both supplements have been shown to help decrease osteoarthritis pain, without the risk of increased bleeding in those with gastrointestinal bleeds.

Along with these medications, physical therapy and gentle exercising, like yoga, are believed to reduce pain and improve movement. Doing yoga or tai chi can also help reduce stress.


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