The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) defines osteoarthritis as a painful inflammatory joint condition that causes significant disability and reduces the quality of life.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is characterised by the loss of cartilage, remodelling of adjacent bone and joint inflammation. In the UK approximately one third of the population over the age of 45 seek treatment for the condition, while one in every three GP visits in Ireland are concerned with some form of arthritis. Work absences by sufferers are estimated to have cost the Irish state €700 million in 2014 alone, and by the year 2030 one in four Irish people will have been diagnosed with the condition. With no known cure, these facts are crippling....literally!
Why OA sufferers should no longer take Paracetamol
Until recently one of the main prescribed medicines for arthritis was paracetamol. However, in 2013 NICE announced that its advisors were highly concerned due to side effects of taking too much paracetamol. A study carried out by the Harvard Medical School found that people who regularly took paracetamol over a period of 12 years had a 35% increased risk of a cardiovascular problem.
Paracetamol continues to be prescribed for OA because it is inexpensive, according to Dr. John Dixon. He believes that in 5 year's time medics will no longer be prescribing paracetamol for chronic pain relief. We should not be subjecting ourselves to more harm with medication to cure pain - surely there must be other products on the market in which can cure the pain without causing more.
So what can OA sufferers take to reduce the pain and improve their quality of life?
Marine Collagen is the building block for cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments and skin. When collagen is ingested it gets into your blood stream within 6-12 hours. After this it is then deposited into the cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments and skin and gets to work repairing them.
MSM is a natural anti-inflammatory that targets painful joint tissue. This ingredient which is widely available on the market can be used as a replacement for paracetamol for chronic joint pain.
Glucosamine is a substance found naturally in the human body and is used by the body as one of the building blocks of joint structures including cartilage, ligaments and tendons. By taking an extra supplementation of glucosamine it may provide significant pain relief to affected areas.
Lifestyle can also play a key role in the management of osteoarthritis and joint pain. NICE encourage each sufferer of OA to make positive changes to their life in the form of exercise, weight loss and wearing good sturdy footwear. Evidence shows that regular exercise can help to significantly reduce pain, disability and medication intake. Weightloss also helps to reduce excessive weight putting added pressure on the joints, thus also reducing pain.
According to the Irish Pharmacy News Magazine in which the details of this blog post are based, Revive Active Joint Complex is a supplement that supports joint function and mobility for OA sufferers.
The fears concerning the prescribing of paracetamol going forward cannot be ignored. The toxicity concerns with paracetamol mean that alternative approaches are more likely to be considered as future treatment plans for OA.
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