A stitch in time saves 90% Osteoarthritis Cases

Alarming Facts on Arthritis

  • OA is the causing diagnosis for more than 90% of the total hip or knee joint replacement operations being done worldwide. 1
  • Worldwide, osteoarthritis (OA) is estimated to be the 4 th leading cause of disability. 1
  • Prevalence of OA in India ranges from 17-60.6%. 2
  • Prevalence of OA increases with age and generally affects women more.
  • In 2008, India was ranked one of the TOP 2 countries in the absolute number of people aged 65 and over ( 60 million). 3 Therefore in 2008–2040, there will be an estimated increase in the proportion of people aged 65 and over by 274%. 1



OA is a painful condition caused by a gradual loss of cartilage from the joints and, in some people, joint inflammation. Arthritis can affect almost any joint, although it occurs most frequently in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. Osteoarthritis is a chronic, highly prevalent and disabling disease that is expected to increase in prevalence secondary to longer life expectancy and a disproportionately aging population.

Warning signs of OA
 Joint pain
 Stiffness in a joint after getting out of bed or sitting for a long time
 Swelling in one or more joints
 Crunching feeling or the sound of bone rubbing on bone

4 goals of OA treatment
1. To control pain
2. To improve joint function
3. To maintain normal body weight
4. To achieve a healthy lifestyle

Treatment approaches to Osteoarthritis
 Exercise
 Weight control
 Rest and relief from stress on joints
 Medications like pain relievers, intra-articular steroids or topical NSAIDs and analgesics
 Nutraceuticals like glucosamine, chrondroitin, methyl sulfonylmethane (MSM), curcumin which are the building blocks for cartilage and have a positive effect on cartilage and arthritis


What is the need to take nutraceuticals for osteoarthritis?

Many people with arthritis, especially osteoarthritis use nutraceuticals to ease the pain of arthritis. Significant improvements in pain, function and structural outcomes have been shown with nutraceuticals. Glucosamine and chondroitin are the most well-known and best-tested. Methyl sulfonylmethane (MSM) is another supplement used to ease the pain of arthritis.

Given the high prevalence and rate of disability from OA, the good efficacy and safety profile of nutraceuticals and their benefits gives reason to arthritic patients to take these products resulting in better quality of life.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Both these agents are produced endogenously in the human body and are essential components of cartilage. Glucosamine is an efficacious chondroprotective agent. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have the potential to provide pain-relieving benefits as well as possibly decrease the effects of joint space narrowing. 4 These supplements may serve a role as an initial treatment option for many OA patients. 5

Significant improvement in pain and functional ability and a decrease in the loss of joint space width have been medically proven with glucoamine. 6

Patients taking chondroitin sulfate were noted to have a statistically significant improvement in knee joint swelling. 7

Another study reveals: Continuous administration of Glucosamine for up to 3 years resulted in significant reduction in the progression of joint structure changes …decreasing the risk of undergoing total joint replacement in the follow up of patients receiving glucosamine for at least 12 months. 8

Methyl sulfonylmethane (MSM)
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an effective natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent.

Patients with OA of the knee taking MSM for 12 weeks showed an improvement in pain and physical function. 9
Another medical report states that ….Taking MSM for 13 weeks decreased degeneration of the cartilage at the joint surface in the knee joints. 10
MSM with Glucosamine provides better and more rapid improvement in patients with osteoarthritis. Together they produced an analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory effect in osteoarthritis. This combination reduces pain and swelling and improves the functional ability of joints. 11

Is the principal biochemical component of the spice turmeric and has been shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, properties. It protects the chondrocytes (cells found in healthy cartilage) and may be a beneficial complementary treatment for OA. 12

Living & Managing arthritis:


1. Recognize early symptoms of osteoarthritis
2. Exercise to help decrease pain
3. Eat healthily and maintain ideal weight
4. Try relaxation and distraction to ease the pain
5. Be regular with your treatment plan


This article has been written by Liselle D’souza, a Mumbai based Medical Content writer. Liselle has over two decades of experience in pharmaceuticals and the healthcare industry and has worked in leading healthcare companies like UCB Pharma, Glenmark and others. She can be contacted on ldsouza.ms@gmail.com

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