Synvisc, Hyalgan, Orthovisc viscosupplementation for osteoarthritis

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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a common disease that causes pain and stiffness in the joints. Affected joints include; knees, hips, elbows, wrists, ankles, shoulder, etc. Healthy joints are made up of bones that are covered in a smooth cartilage and a fluid known as synovial fluid. The synovial fluid acts as a lubricant and shock absorber for the joint.

The synovial fluid can thin out and lose its' elasticity in people with osteoarthritis. The smooth cartilage on the ends of the bones can wear away and break down. Causes can include; age, obesity, sport injuries or work related accidents.

People with osteoarthritis will experience pain during movement or at rest. Joints can be stiff and swollen. Some people will experience a loss of movement range in the joint. The disease can interfere with many normal activities like walking, sports or even sleeping.

There are several treatments for osteoarthritis. Consult your health care professional for the treatment that best suits your individual needs.

Viscosupplementation treatments and products including Synvisc may be quite effective when simple pain killers stop producing results. The treatment is localized to the affected area. Viscosupplements are administered through an intra-articular injection into the synovial space of the joint. The treatment works by improving the natural viscosity of the synovial fluid. The improvement in the 'lubrication' of the joint results in increased mobility and reduced pain. Side affects and risks tend to be minimal, while results can be quite good. Discomfort during the injection can be reduced by using a local anesthetic. Many doctors are quite well experienced in this type of injection. Most people will experience pain free conditions for 6 to 8 months. Treatments can be repeated and cases have been observed of even longer pain relief following repeat treatments.

Oral Glucosamine Sulphate and Oseoarthritis

In the case of osteoarthritis the doctor is trying to:
1. control pain
2. control or even stop the degenerative process.

Glucosamine sulphate is very effective for early, less severe osteoarthritis. Glucosamine has been found to alleviate or even reverse a number of symptoms in all joints when used. These include articular pain, joint tenderness and swelling. Studies show that it also tends to inhibit further degradation of the articular cartilage and increase articular function. There are indications that it may have the ability to actually reverse cartilage damage.

Glucosamine is also found to be well tolerated, not contributing to the stomach distress associated with many of the available painkillers.

Another important feature is that it does not appear to come in conflict with other medications that the patient may be on.
The length of treatment time can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the limitation on the range of motion.

Referenced from Current Medical Research and Opinion Vol 7 No 2 1980

Prolotherapy (also known as Sclerotherapy or Proliferative Therapy)

"Injection prolotherapy is the injection of a solution for the purpose of tightening and strengthening loose or weak tendons ligaments or joint capsules through the multiplication and activation of fibroblasts (primitive connective tissue cells that are the workhorses of repair and growth)"....K. Dean Reeves MD

All studies using prolotherapy were conducted on patients in which the acute healing period had not been successful. The bodies spontaneous repair cycle for soft tissue normally takes 6 to 8 weeks. If, after this period pain and limited range of motion still exist connective tissue weakness can be considered.

This chronic connective tissue tissue dysfunction can be due to a degenerative change. Prolotherapy treats this weak attachment by using the body's own natural ability to heal ligaments and muscles without scar tissue. By injecting a solution directly into the ligament it causes a mild inflammatory reaction. A thickening and strengthening occurs which helps to alleviate the chronic pain. These changes
increase the load bearing ability of the affected connective tissue. This therapy is best suited for chronic myofacial injuries common in athletes, whiplash and industrial injuries. Prolotherapy will result in significant increases in ligament mass and thickness. Reduction in pain and improved range of motion. Positive results have been archived in people with fibromyalgia.

Patients can sometimes benefit from a combination of treatments at the same time. Viscosupplementation, Glucosamine and Prolotherapy can be combined to obtain positive outcomes.

Should you and your physician decide on viscosupplementation as part of your treatment, please consider us for the purchase of today's most popular viscosupplementation products, available from Canada at very competitive prices.

For further reading on arthritis we recommend the following links:

Arthritis: Timely Treatments for an Ageless Disease from FDA website.


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