The tissues involved most in osteoarthritis are the cartilage and underlying subchondral bone. The cartilage is the smooth white material that forms over the ends of the bones and forms the moving surface of the joint on both sides. Cartilage is tough, elastic, very durable, and comprised of collagen and water molecules. Cartilage does not have a blood supply and receives its oxygen and nutrition from the surrounding joint fluid by diffusion. The ability of cartilage to absorb nutrients and fluid allows it to function without a blood supply.

Diseases or injuries that affect human joints. Arthritis is no doubt the best-known joint disease, but there are also many others. Diseases of the joints may be variously short-lived or exceedingly chronic, agonizingly painful or merely nagging and uncomfortable; they may be confined to one joint or may affect many parts of the skeleton.

Joint cartilage resulting in a decrease in the mechanical strength of cartilage. At the same time, other cells proliferate and form clusters. Then cracks in the cartilage gradually develop and the cracks are filled with fibrous tissue, probably as a result of unsuccessful attempts by the cartilage cells to repair the cracks. Finally, bony structures, called entophytes, are formed at the periphery of the joint. The end result is loss of joint function.

Joints gradually breaks down and a key component of cartilage called aggrecan, which helps the tissue bear load and resist compression, is chewed up by enzymes of the ADAMTS or aggrecanase family. Mice that lack a part of one such enzyme, ADAMTS5 (aggrecanase-2), are largely protected from cartilage destruction. The studies are the first to show that mutations in a single gene can halt cartilage degradation, and suggest that drugs designed to inhibit the human.

A natural constituent of cannabis, cannabidiol, which has no effect on mood or consciousness, may be useful for treating inflammatory joint disease; scientists have found that it protects mice from severe joint damage by suppressing key parts of their immune response.

Treatment for Joint Disease

A first line of simple treatment - acetaminophen (Tylenol) is as effective and has less side effects than other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin.

Protect the joints from overuse by limiting unnecessary and repetitive activities such as driving or lifting heavy pots and pans.

Be sure to keep good posture with the chin up and a straight back (shoulders pulled back).

Use a straw to drink if you have Neck Pain or stiffness.

Bracing, splinting, and other orthotic treatments may be useful in managing or “unloading” an arthritic joint surface.

Use crutches, neck collars, wrist braces or walkers to protect the joint if the doctor recommends it

Stretch before exercising

Exercise of all forms has proven beneficial

A good diet and moderate weight loss is extremely important.

Tylenol (regular and extra strength) is a good choice for pain. It has no stomach Irritation or bleeding as happens with aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and others from the non steroidal anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) family. None of these should be used if there is liver damage.

NSAID's are not good for the elderly, those with ulcers, bleeding problems, or kidney damage.

Cats tend to like it warm, but warmth can be especially important to some cats with arthritis. Arthritis tends to worsen in cold, damp weather. You may want to consider keeping the temperature in your home a little warmer, too. Place comfortable places for your cat to sleep in sunny areas or near heat registers.

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