WHAT CAUSES IT?
Osteoarthritis begins when the smooth, highly polished contact surfaces of a joint roughen up. It may be due to mundane, everyday physical activity over time, or accelerated by excessive, irregular or high-impact physical exercise. Fragments of cartilage may break off, aggravating existing damage. Knee, hip or back injuries when young will encourage osteoarthritis later as will serious joint infections or regular gout attacks, and bone fractures around the joints.
Natural medicine healers regard osteoarthritis as the outcome of disharmony in the joint tissues, due to acidity, ageing, injury, microbial invasion or genetic predisposition. The Tibb modality’s view, for example, is that it is due to a gross imbalance between the body’s cold and dry qualities. Treatment therefore revolves around redressing the balance by altering the patient’s diet and lifestyle to favour hot and moist qualities.8
LIFESTYLE AND OSTEOARTHRITIS
For many, osteoarthritis is the inevitable outcome of a faulty or inadequate way of life. Someone who is overweight or obese places an extra load on many joints. Over time, osteoarthritis inevitably develops. Also, the muscles surrounding the joint in someone leading a sedentary ‘couch potato’ life will atrophy.