Dear Ask The Doctor: Every morning I wake up and all my joints hurt, it takes me awhile to get out of bed. What could be causing this feeling. I also feel weak.
Dear Joe: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that involves the whole joints, affecting not only the bones but ligaments, joint lining and joint cover (capsule) and also involves a progressive loss of cartilage. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common articular disease worldwide, affecting over 20 million individuals in the United States alone. The main symptoms are the aching pain, stiffness or difficulty moving the affected joints, for example: fingers, hips, knees and spine. Besides the drug treatment as Tylenol, which is the first drug recommended for osteoarthritis, there are several ways to help to improve the quality of life as follows: keep the weight under control, regular exercise may help to strengthen muscles and stimulate the cartilage growth, avoid high impact sports, taking antioxidant vitamins as C and E may provide some protection, also vitamin D(400 UI per day) and Calcium (1000-1200 mgs per day), hot soaks and warm paraffin application may relieve the pain, there are also assistive devices that can be used to improve function, alignment, provide support or correct deformities such as splints, braces, walkers, canes and orthopedic footwear. The arthritis foundation offers programs aimed to educate you about exercises, nutrition, relaxation and pain management.