The need for hyaluronic acid in knee
Our elders often say that we should regularly consume ghee, oil, and other such products. The reason that they give for it is also simple and true. They say that our bones need to stay lubricated because it is similar to an engine. Like an engine needs grease, our body has been fused with Hyaluronic acid, which functions as its lubricator and shock absorber, its very own grease. However, sometimes, injuries, old age, and diseases lead to a decrease of Hyaluronic acid present in our body. One of the most common and most painful diseases that result in a reduction of Hyaluronic acid in the human body is osteoarthritis. It is a chronic disease whose symptoms worsen over time.
The disease affects joints. When the cartilage breaks down, the bones get rubbed together leading to inflammation, or swelling in layman’s term, which in turn causes excruciating pain, among other symptoms. Although the disease is often out of control, our lifestyle can also affect its development and risks related to it. Although the National Library of Medicine (NLM) states that people suffer from osteoarthritis after the age of seventy, it is not restricted to only that age group. Until the age of 55, both sexes suffer from the disease in almost equal numbers, but this is different in the older generation, where more women suffer from osteoarthritis than men.
Young adults and the people in the middle age group also report complaints of tender joints, morning joint stiffness, aching pain and motion restriction. In this young generation, osteoarthritis is generally a cause of trauma. However, if a person’s siblings, grandparents, parents and other close relatives suffer from the disease, it automatically makes them more prone to becoming a victim of the disease. Its diagnosis lies significantly on a patient’s personal lifestyle and physical examination, but it relies even more on the medical history of the patient. It also comes in handy for the physician who will then come up with a more appropriate and personalized treatment for the patient.
Sports injuries can also cause the trauma that leads to osteoarthritis and it can happen at any age, to anyone. The most common forms of injuries include torn cartilage, ligament injuries and dislocated joints. The strain and tears are especially dangerous, and a sports related study proved the point further by concluding that up to 51% of sportsmen who have suffered through knee injuries during their playing days show symptoms of osteoarthritis in their later years.
Frequently referred to as the ‘wear and tear’ disease, Osteoarthritis can also occur due to what a person does for a living or prefers to do as a hobby. Cartilage can wear down prematurely due to perpetual straining of the joints. People who are involved in physical labor, squat, kneel or go up and down stairs for hours at one go are highly prone to developing stiffness in joints, and the following pain. Areas affected most by occupation related osteoarthritis are hips, knees, and hands.
People of all genders, sizes and ages are affected by the disease, but being overweight takes you a step closer to becoming a victim of it. The joints, specifically back, hips and knees, get more stressed when more weight is placed on them. Cartilage damage, which is in its true sense the hallmark of osteoarthritis, also becomes probable when a person is overweight.
When a person has other forms of arthritis, they become more prone to catching osteoarthritis. If any area near the joint starts to bleed, the symptoms of osteoarthritis are highly likely to worsen.
Sadly, osteoarthritis does not have a cure; however, there are different sorts of treatments available to lessen the pain. When pain relievers fail to relieve the pain of patients suffering from osteoarthritis, doctors must resort to other, more effective treatments. One such treatment, which most doctors rely on and recommend to a lot of their patients, is Hyaluronic acid. Forms in which Hyaluronic acid is available for pain relief are:
However, it can only be used under prescriptions by a doctor.
Remember when I mentioned that our bodies are similar to an engine? So just like an engine, our body too breaks down beyond repair after one point of time. The knee is the most complicated area that has almost the most number of joint patients. Previously, when I stated the causes of osteoarthritis, one thing that stood out was that no matter what the cause is, the knee will definitely get affected.
Although many times the injection injected directly to the knee shows effect, giving relief and the freedom to move (although not the same as before) after the patient goes through the treatment (one injection each week for about three to five weeks), it may not always show the same effect. Since each body is different, it reacts to medicines in its own way, which cannot be predicted.
While there are patients who reap benefits of the treatment for almost a year, there are also patients who are left with the same pain and lesser money. The body also takes its time to adjust to the medicine, so sometimes patients experience redness and pain in the knee where the injection was injected.
What is perhaps its worst problem is that the reactions of hyaluronic acid in knee have not as yet been properly studied. We do not as yet know in detail which reactions are good and which are bad. This is why patients are advised to be ready to visit their doctor at the slightest sight of discomfort.
Pregnant and nursing women are strictly forbidden to go for the treatment of hyaluronic acid in the knee, or in any other part of the body. Similar caution is advised to people who are taking anti-inflammatory drugs. They must stop taking them at least a week before they go to get the hyaluronic acid injections in the knee.