What is Osteoarthritis? This Common Joint Disease is Poorly Understood

Despite being so common that it is almost universal in the middle-aged and elderly, osteoarthritis is a poorly understood disease. The medical profession, despite recent advances, still has only an incomplete grasp on the precise causes, whereas amongst the lay public, confusion is widespread.

This confusion is mainly due to the information given to sufferers by health professionals who, used to and, in some instances, still do, describe the disorder as ‘wear and tear’. An analogy is often made to a mechanical joint which, after years of use, will eventually wear out.

This is poor analogy for two reasons. The joints of the body are not like a mechanical joint: they have a built-in repair mechanism and movement of the joint stimulates this repair. The other reason is that this comparison to a mechanical joint will discourage the sufferer from using the joint. Logic would suggest that if a joint is causing pain and stiffness because of wear and tear, then the sensible thing to do is to use it as little as possible. Unfortunately this is the worst thing to do with an osteoarthritic joint.

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The Nature of Osteoarthritis

All of the body’s tissues, including bone and cartilage, are constantly being replaced. Some tissues are turned over more quickly than others: blood for example is replaced in around 30 days, much more quickly than bone.

It’s thought that this turnover mechanism goes wrong with certain joints in osteoarthritis. The cartilage of the joint is insufficiently built up and the remodelling of the normally smooth bone becomes chaotic with pitting and bony outgrowths. No one knows exactly why this happens but some factors predispose joints to the disease. These are: injury or deformity of the joint, age, gender – women more than men are affected, genetics, obesity – especially in relation to hip and knee osteoarthritis and certain physically demanding occupations.

Clinical Features

Some joints are affected more than others. The ankle joint, which bears considerable weight, is rarely affected unless previously injured, as is the shoulder. Most commonly affected are: hips, finger joints, knees and spine.

Pain in the affected joints is common, usually worse on movement. However some people with a considerable degree of osteoarthritis have little pain. Over time the joints become deformed; this is particularly noticeable in the fingers. Sometimes swelling and muscle wasting occurs.


There is no cure for osteoarthritis but a number of things can be done to alleviate discomfort and reduce disability.

  • Regular exercise: this keeps fluid circulating within the joint and helps strengthen surrounding muscles.
  • Weight loss: Obesity is likely to exacerbate pain by increasing the load on the joint and reduce the amount of exercise taken.
  • Physical therapy: massage and mobilisation of the affected joints can be helpful.
  • Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed, however these have side- effects. Paracetamol is the one recommended initially. In severe cases more potent medication is given.
  • Injections: steroid injections into the joint can ease pain and restore mobility.
  • Surgery: when the above have failed joint replacement surgery is undertaken.
  • Supplements: there is some evidence that glucosamine can reduce pain and improve function. Side-effects are minor but some people have had allergic reactions. Many people feel that regularly taking cod liver oil helps relieve osteoarthritis.

This article is for information only. If you have any health concerns you should consult the appropriate health professional

Fun facts about the Eiffel Tower – The City of Love

Who has not dreamt of going to Paris once in their lives? It is not so uncommon to share this goal with many people these days. Basically, Paris is that one city which became popular because of its ambiance perfect for romance and love. There is a tenfold of couples who come in there to spend their honeymoon. In going there – of course the aim is to lay eyes on the Eiffel tower. As this is the case, there are so many fun facts about the Eiffel Tower that have to be learned about. What are these?

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Learning more about the Eiffel Tower

There was a time when a woman tried to kill herself by committing suicide on the Eiffel Tower. What was quite ironic though was that she landed on a car and eventually, she married the owner of the said car. Even if this case happened, it does not occur a lot. As a matter of fact, it has been said that the Eiffel tower comes with the highest rare in suicide. The rate is like 17.5 for 1000 people. This is perceived up until now, as an important issue that has to be resolved in the government of France.

The Eiffel tower – if measured in numbers can be huge. It is responsible in employing almost 300 workers. This is known as a combination of almost 18,038 wrought iron pieces which were all fastened with their 2, 5 million of rivets. These all weigh almost 10,000 tons. These also come with a height of 984, 25 ft. This is how the Eiffel tower is represented in numbers.

Whenever it is summer time, the Eiffel Tower is said to be way taller. It may be in six inches actually. This occurs because the summer heat would always expand the steel structure. Aside from this, the Eiffel Tower never fail to illuminate because of the lights it comes along with. Imagine, almost 5 billion of these are installed. The tower may consume almost 7.8 million and this may happen for like kWh for every year. This is one heck of utility bill. This is for sure.

Indeed, it is an understatement to say that it would be cool to be in the Eiffel Tower. It can take more than that. It goes with so many sides that have to be seen as well. The only thing though is that it may take a couple of hours to fall in line with it. This is how it has always been but it can still be fine later on.

There is a man who tried to destroy the Eiffel Tower since its lights are shining in the view of his bedroom. According to him, it keeps him awake every night. A dynamite was planned to be utilized in the destruction. It was Ivan Chtcheglov who want the bombing done. He was arrested and afterwards, he was committed and admitted to a mental hospital. He was carried by his then spouse.

African Penguin Facts – What makes them different?

Whenever penguins are talked about, picturing ice and snow is most likely to occur or take place. This is the notion here. Even if this is the case, little do people know what there is this one species of penguin which is somehow adjusted to way warmer climates. These are the African penguins. These would always live in colonies which are situated in the coast. The same is also true with the southern Africa islands. They are most likely to be found in there. There are still many African Penguin facts waiting to be discovered. What are these?

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African Penguins

African penguins are sometimes referred to as the jackass penguins. Whenever they communicate, they create this donkey-braying sound like. Aside from this, they have the ability to somehow dive under water. They can last for almost 2.5 minutes. This is how they are whenever they catch small fish like sardines and anchovies. They also have the ability to munch and eat crustaceans and squid. Most of the African penguins come to an average of 60 cm. This reaches 2 ft. It may also weigh up to 3.6 kg. If converted, this is 8 lb. Their tails are short. They also have these wings which are the same of that of flippers. These are useful whenever they need to be helped in navigating the waters. The propelling on the other hand takes place because of the webbed feet they come along with.

The idea for such penguins is to be kept dry and insulated. This has to occur when they are in the cold water. How can this be? It is known as a fact that penguins would always be covered in water-proof and dense feathers. This is one. On their belly, they come with feathers. These are the answer why they have this camouflage effect on them. Usually, such will blend on the light whenever predators are on their way to look up for species to victimize. This may occur even from below. As that happens, the black backs would definitely meld. This is going to be directed towards darker seas. This will be the moment when predators are going to look down. This is going to take place from above.

African penguins are most likely to breed in their colonies. They are not going out of their way, travel and so just to give birth. This is not going to occur. The penguins would always nest in their burrows too. They would dig out their very own excrement. This is referred to as the guano. These are perceived in the areas which are under bushes or boulders. Their nests are always capable of protecting their eggs and even chicks from the destructing rays of sun and even from other predators such as seagulls and cats. Eggs are surely going to lay in pairs and these would be taken care of their parents. Their parents are surely going to incubate them after being given birth. They will also be fed. There is a need to wait for two to four years in order for the penguins to mature.