Have you ever heard about chondrosis? It is the cartilage deterioration of the soft connecting tissues in your joints. It is a result of age, wear, and tear or injury. Also known as osteoarthritis, this condition may influence your knees, hands, hips, neck, and lower spine. Though it is an incurable condition, the best treatment can help diminish the development pace of the illness, make you comfortable and restore mobility. But to determine the ideal treatment, you must know the stages of chondrosis.
What are the Symptoms?
When chondrosis damages your connective tissues, your knee, hands, hip, and lower vertebrae may undergo some problems. However, the general symptoms encompass:
- Intense Pain Behind Knee
- Limited Joint Mobility
- Stiff Lumbar Region and Cervical Spinal Canal
What Does It Mainly Affect?
This condition can affect any joint, but the specific targets include knees, palms, hips, neck, lower spinal canal, and cervical backbone.
What are the Risks?
Suppose you are involved in some types of workouts or are obese, the propensity of osteoarthritis affecting the knee increases. You should know that every half kg weight exerts two kg pressure on your knees. So, if you are an athlete or sportsperson who has to perform vigorous exercises, you are susceptible to joint pain. Also, covering long distances is a tremendous challenge for your knee joints.
Although high-impact workouts elevate the risk of chondrosis, a sedentary lifestyle can also pose the same risk. However, with a low muscle tone, you will be unable to support your joints, and it will have to withstand more pressure when you perform routine tasks.
Chondrosis is common in people aged 50 years or more. The reason is that your cartilage deteriorates with age. Also, your genes matter. On the contrary, your bone structure can influence the likelihood of the development of chondrosis. For example, it is likely to affect people with trivial hip sockets who are likely to be victims of hip dysplasia.
So, when you perform repetitive gestures, it may cause joint overuse and can impair your cartilage. At the same time, this problem can also develop during an injury or surgical procedure.
What Are the Stages?
If you want to know about the stages of chondrosis or osteoarthritis, you should read the following:
Stage 0 – Normal
Your affected joint shows no signs or symptoms in this stage, and you enjoy a normal lifestyle.
Stage 1 – Trivial
In this stage, you might undergo slight cartilage deterioration, and osteophytes may develop. Hence, it may trigger pain and discomfort.
Stage 2 – Mild
The growth of osteophytes will increase in this stage. Though the bone gaps might appear normal, you are likely to experience joint pain and stiffness.
Stage 3 – Modest
This stage entails significant cartilage wear and tear among your bones. The fibrillation constricts the gap among the bones.
Stage 4 – Severe
In this stage, the joint gap gets significantly diminished, leading to cartilage deterioration. As a result, it will stiffen your joint. You may also feel a severe inflammatory response that may intensify your pain and uneasiness.
What is the Cure?
If your chondrosis is detected in the early stages, some helpful home remedies and lifestyle modifications can be quite effective. So, to treat hand, knee, or hip chondrosis, you can adapt these to improve the condition:
The best cure for osteoarthritis is exercising regularly. While tai chi, yoga, and balance exercises are also quite effective. For this, you may visit a physiotherapist to obtain your workout plan that will help strengthen the muscles that surround the affected joint. It helps reduce pain, prevent further damage, and support functions, movement, and recovery.
Orthotics and Supports
Your doctor or physiotherapists may recommend the use of a supportive brace or a cane. Other effective therapies include acupuncture, heat, and therapeutic cooling. So, supporting your joints help prevent cartilage deterioration.
If you visit, an occupational therapist can provide you with helpful recommendations to protect your bones. If you have a desk-bound job or inactive lifestyle, an occupational therapist can make a huge difference in your life. They will recommend you to make your workplace ergonomically safe to shield joints.
Did you know that high blood sugar levels can solidify and weaken cartilage, so it becomes more vulnerable to damage or chondrosis? So, if you are experiencing this condition, experts recommend managing your weight. Weight management is a significant part of the osteoarthritis management plan. The less the body weight, the less the pressure on your joints, and less will be the chance of joint inflammation that may trigger chondrosis.
Eating habits influence your weight and blood sugar levels (for diabetic people). So, making healthy food choices can significantly reduce the likelihood of chondrosis.
What is the Treatment?
When you visit a consultant, they will examine your condition and recommend imaging tests (if required). It will provide them with a better idea of the level of damage or stage of chondrosis. Doctors usually prefer non-surgical methods. However, if the condition is critical, they might have to opt for surgery.
If you have chondrosis, your physician may recommend your OTC medicines and pain-relief injections. Besides, they might also suggest you some creams for temporary pain relief and supplements for bone strength. Though, continuous use of supplements will show desired outcomes.
If you are experiencing intense pain and limited mobility, your doctor may choose to proceed with surgical treatment. The reason is high pain medications are not health-friendly. In this situation, you must discuss all the ins and outs of the surgical procedure beforehand with the doctor.
Some common surgical treatments include arthroscopic surgery (to treat inflamed tissues). The substitution of impaired cartilage then follows it. Usually, joint surgery entails a long road to recovery. However, you need to remain committed to the suggested therapies. Also, you need to take good care of your health to maximize the chances of effective recovery.
Norah is a food and sports lover. She likes to do yoga and body weight exercises. She completed her high school and doing college in Amsterdam.