How Does Movement Help Osteoarthritis?
As the title suggests, today’s blog explains why movement is so important to help stave off and protect against osteoarthritis.
What exactly is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a musculoskeletal disease and the world’s most common joint ailment. A slow and steady degeneration of the cartilage causes the joints to be painful and stiff. Over time, the surrounding bones, muscles and ligaments can be damaged as well. This causes pain and restricts the flexibility of the joint which leads to a loss of mobility, disabilities and problems in everyday life.
Bones are connected to each other via flexible joints. In order to prevent the bones from rubbing against each other, the contact areas are covered in cartilaginous tissue. However, since cartilage has a slow metabolism, it takes a long time to regenerate. When the regeneration process is disturbed, elasticity decreases at a constant pace and the joint cartilage becomes less resilient.
You might have seen the posts on our social media pages about the importance of movement and activity. It’s important to keep active, keep moving and keep excising, especially in these challenging times of lockdown. One really important reason to keep active is that it helps protect your joints against suffering from degradation. We all know the old adage, ‘use it or lose it’, and in this case, it’s true!
So how does movement help?
Well, here’s where the jargon comes in… It is due to the piezoelectric effect. Piezoelectricity (pie-ee-zo-electricity) is an electric charge that occurs in certain solid materials in response to applied mechanical stress. Simply put, if two materials are pushed against one another there will be an electrical charge generated. The cells in our bodies need this electricity to have the energy to function. Each joint is made up of layers of bone, then synovium, cartilage, more synovium and bone again. Every time we move a joint we create this electrical current that literally charges the cells within that area, as pressure is put on the neighbouring tissue in that order. If we are not moving the joint this electrical charge doesn’t occur and the cells don’t have enough energy to perform their tasks and so the cartilage slowly degrades.
Now, of course we’re not saying sign up to every online zoom exercise class possible. All new exercise regimes should be done after consultation with an appropriate healthcare professional. Some of the usual recommendations, such as swimming, are obviously not available at the moment (unless you are fortunate enough to have your own pool, of course) but there are still lots of other possibilities such as walking, tai chi and cycling, among others. As I mentioned just now, you don’t sign up to all online classes, but it’s worth having a look to see if any of them work for you, there are plenty out there. Always be sure to start at the lowest level first to reduce risk of injury.
If you need an aid such as back/knee brace or walking stick then speak with a healthcare professional first to make sure you get the most suitable one for you, along with the relevant advice on how to wear/use it. Using aids incorrectly can do a lot of damage in the long term. Although we can’t see each other in person, you can still speak to someone via the phone or online to take down your measurements and provide any necessary help.
In these difficult times of social distancing and no physical contact, we need to change our day to day norms. Pain doesn’t stop because of pandemics, so we still need to find ways to get better and although movement is important, if you are in too much pain to do them then you must find alternatives. In the case of arthritis and lots of other Musculoskeletal issues, these get worse the longer you leave them. MBST has been used for years to help people suffering from osteoarthritis. It puts that vital piezoelectrical charge directly into the cartilage cells, giving them the energy levels required to reproduce.
The physical contact necessary for an assessment may not be currently possible, but with Cell Regeneration we can still do them over the phone and via email. MBST can still be carried out with zero physical contact. Our priority is the health and safety of all patients and staff at all times, especially with prevention of infections with COVID-19. Each treatment is programmed to last for one hour, this means we can organise patient times to be separate from each other, so there is no-one at the clinic unless they’re having treatment. This also allows the staff time to thoroughly disinfect the devices and door handles etc, as well as airing the practice out as much as possible. Staff and patients are under strict instructions not to arrive at the clinic if they show any signs of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has.