We’re pleased to introduce Healing Wisdom – a new monthly feature in which the Chopra Center’s medical staff will share the latest research and timeless practices to help you achieve optimal mind-body health and wellbeing.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic condition of the joints in which the cartilage cushioning the ends of the bones gradually loses its elasticity and wears away. Without the protective cartilage, the bones begin to rub against each other, causing stiffness, inflammation, and loss of movement. It can occur in any of the body’s joints but most often develops in the hands and weight-bearing joints, including the knees, hips, and spine (usually in the neck or lower back).
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis worldwide, with symptoms ranging from minor discomfort to debilitation. For people coping with advanced osteoarthritis, the effects are not only physical but also emotional, as pain and decreasing mobility can limit the ability to work, participate in daily activities with friends and family, and enjoy life.
Current conventional medical treatments focus on pain reduction and control of inflammation; however, these approaches have no effect on the natural course of the disease. The most common medications prescribed for osteoarthritis are, at best, moderately effective. In addition, side effects of these treatments can be quite significant, and at times life-threatening. Often times, the ultimate treatment for a disabling joint is joint replacement, with the inherent risks and cost that come with surgery. If current trends continue, it is estimated that 600,000 hip replacements and
1.4 million knee replacements will be carried out in the U.S. alone in 2015. Click to read the rest of the article >>
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