Millions of people are suffering from osteoarthritis. You may also be one of them. A new hip or knee can probably relieve the ache, but a surgery always involves risks. Fortunately, new hopes are emerging. In the future, a simple jab can possibly ease your osteoarthritis.
In a new US research, scientists injected adenosine into the joints of the lab rodents whose joints have been previously damaged. This kind of damage is just like human beings’ suffering from osteoarthritis.
The researchers found that injecting adenosine 8 times every week led to 35% to 50% regrowth of the cartilage tissue in those animals. It means adenosine can probably mitigate osteoarthritis and help the joints recover, at least to some degrees. Another bonus: no obvious side-effects were found.
What is adenosine?
You’ve probably heard about ATP. The full name of ATP is adenosine triphosphate. This is an energy-carrying molecule existing in your cell. Your body uses this energy to function. Besides, adenosine also helps signal other cells and serves as a building block of genetic material, and so is central to the growth of human tissue.
What is the benefit?
Currently, the drug treatments for osteoarthritis like ibuprofen can only numb the joint pain. In other words, they just relieve the pain but do not stall disease progression or reverse the damage. Some painkillers may even get you addicted.
Adenosine, on the other hand, can help recover your damaged tissues in the joint without bringing harm to your body. This method, if implemented, will be far more effective than any other drug. Besides, compared with surgical joint replacement, adenosine is much safer because it won’t bring you infection or complications.
However, it is still too soon to use the experimental treatment in humans. A stable test drug and more experiments will be needed for further clinical trials.
How to relieve osteoarthritis pain?
While you are waiting for the clinical trials, you can do the following things to temporarily ease your osteoarthritis pain.
Weight loss can release the burden of your joints and thus relieve the pain. You may try to keep a healthier diet and do proper physical activities. If you are overweight or obese, getting rid of a few pounds can make a big difference.
Use cold or hot packs
Icing or heat packs can reduce the pain as well as inflammation. Remember not to apply them on the skin for over 20 minutes at one time. After 5 to 10 minutes, you should try to move the stiff joints gently and slowly.
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting fine needles into the skin at particular joints to help relieve inflammation, joint pain, and other diseases. Don’t panic if you haven’t tried acupuncture before. It’s painless. Though many people think that it is a mere placebo, some studies have shown that acupuncture does effectively relieve pain.