Arthritis (Osteoarthritis) ~ THE DOCTOR IS IN!

Dr. Pierre Ghassibi, Valley Patriot Medical Columnist
Sept, 2021

Greetings to all. After 44 years of medical practice, 30 years of which in Lawrence and North Andover, Massachusetts, I am retired but interested in writing a medical column exclusively here in The Valley Patriot and eager to share my points of view about common medical conditions.

These days, people are well informed, but I am hoping to emphasize some aspects of health and health care that I believe are important.

I see beliefs that people have which have been replaced by new knowledge, and there are myths too.

Let me start with Arthritis today, namely Osteo Arthritis, which is the commonest by far and is secondary to aging and, or obesity.

Other types of arthritis are much less common and due to infections, trauma, abnormal crystal accumulation in joints and those due to autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Psoriasis and the like, in which our own immune system attacks our joints.

Unlike arthritis due to infections or autoimmunity, Osteoarthritis is a mechanical problem secondary to poor support of the joints by the stabilizing muscles. It is our muscles that hold our structure together and weak muscles let the joints kind of wobble from lack of stabilizing support. Hence, treatments with pills, braces, heat and ice, injections and massage with creams work by hiding the pain and do not aim at a cure.
It is exercise that builds the surrounding muscles that can help lead to a cure or near cure if the condition is advanced.

As we know, exercise has to be gradual and safe and takes time and effort to give results.

I have seen great improvements in people who took time to persist and comply. It is also possible that exercise delays aging in general and increases the healing and nutritive blood supply to the cartilage and joints.

Of course, always be sure to check with your doctors first.

Working with a physical therapist, chiropractor, or personal trainer if possible, can be very beneficial.

Sincerely, Pierre Ghassibi, MD

If you have any questions or comments you can email me at ◊