Osteoarthritis – A True Misnomer!

The knee pain experienced by the aged is most commonly due to osteoarthritis. However, the word ‘Osteoarthritis’ (OA) is in truth a misnomer! Here’s the truth:

1. The suffix “itis” means ‘inflammation.’ But osteoarthritis is NOT an inflammatory condition as was thought in the past – it is instead a degenerative disorder!

2. The prefix “osteo” refers to bone. But regarding pain, this is a misnomer too, because, in fact, there is NO correlation between the presence of osteoarthritis and the presence or absence of knee pain. The truth is that the bone and/or the cartilage does NOT cause joint-pain at all! How could it be? There are no pain receptors in either bone or cartilage!

3. The simple truth is that the knee-pain one feels is within the soft-tissue (e.g., muscles) or connective tissue (i.e., ligaments). It has nothing to do with bones, cartilage, or inflammation at all!

4. The sad thing is that orthopedic surgeons continue to perform drastic surgeries on bone when the bone has nothing to do with it. When total knee replacements (TKRs) are deemed successful, i.e., when they relieve pain (which they often don’t) – it is most likely because TKR procedures remove the overstretched ligaments that are causing the pain!

Treatment of OA: Exercise is the best treatment for OA sufferers. It strengthens the muscles & ligaments around the knee joint, and relieves the pain caused by these overworked pain-sensitive  surrounding tissues.

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