Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, know its causes, symptoms and remedies.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs when the cartilage between the joints is damaged. It causes pain and swelling in the joints as well as decreases their movement rate. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint of the body but, it most commonly affects the joints of hands, knees, hips and spine.
Is Osteoarthritis a common disease?
Osteoarthritis is a common disease. According to the National Institute of Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease, osteoarthritis is common in men before the age of 45. At the same time, it is a fairly common disease in women after 45 years. It can affect at any age but, it is very common in people over 65 years of age. Some relief can be obtained from this disease by reducing its causes. Your doctor can give you more information about it.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include
- Difficulty in moving the knee
- Swelling around the joints
- Pain and stiffness. When the joints move, this pain is aggravated more in the morning or at the end of the day.
- Decreased flexibility.
- .Tingling or sensation in your joints
The above list of symptoms is not exhaustive. If you need more information about any of the symptoms, please consult your doctor.
When to see a doctor?
If you see any of the symptoms discussed earlier, talk to your doctor. Every individual body works differently, therefore, always discuss your illness with your doctor.
What causes osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is caused by the wear and tear of the protective cartilage (a rubbery material) covering the end of the bones. It protects the joints and helps the joints to move. In osteoarthritis, the surface of the cartilage becomes rough, thus rubbing on the bone and increasing the stress on the joints it affects the mobility of the joints.
When is the risk of osteoarthritis more?
The risk of developing osteoarthritis increases with age.
Due to excess obesity, there is excessive weight on the joints of knees, ankles and hips etc. In addition to this, excess fat tissue produces some chemicals that can damage joints.
Some jobs require people to stand for long periods, frequent bending for work, overweight, etc. may increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
If someone in the family has osteoarthritis, the risk of it increases in the other person as well.
How is Osteoarthritis diagnosed?
The doctor will ask for more information about your symptoms and check your body. He may also do some more important tests.
The following tests are normally done to diagnose osteoarthritis:
- X-ray: An X-ray can show any kind of damage and other changes in the joints caused by osteoarthritis.
- MRI: Generally, MRI is not required for the diagnosis of osteoarthritis but, in some severe cases, it may be required.
- Blood test: A blood test can find other causes of joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Joint Fluid Analysis-Gout: Fluid analysis is necessary to detect infections and other causes of arthritis.
Treatments for Osteoarthritis
There is no complete cure for osteoarthritis but, the pain can be reduced by overcoming its symptoms. The main treatments for osteoarthritis include:
Exercising in osteoarthritis can be a bit difficult, but for its patients, exercise is one of the best treatments, no matter the age and weight of the patient. Regular exercise keeps you active, makes muscles and joints strong and usually helps to improve symptoms. The doctor can tell you an exercise that helps in reducing the symptoms of the disease.
Keeping the weight balanced
Losing weight can help people with osteoarthritis reduce pain. Consult a doctor on how to lose weight slowly and safely.
Pain relievers are also given in osteoarthritis, including acetaminophen, opioids, and tramadol. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are drugs such as aspirin, diclofenac sodium, ibuprofen, naproxen, and celecoxib to reduce pain and swelling in joints. Some of these medicines are also available in cream form, which you can apply directly to the affected joints.
If osteoarthritis is severe, corticosteroid injections may also be needed to reduce pain and swelling, etc. However, there should be a difference of at least three months between these injections.
Injection of hyaluronic acid into the joints provides relief in joint pain. This gives mobility to the joints.
Surgery is done in cases where no treatment works or if the joints are very damaged. In osteoarthritis, there is a significant improvement in movement after surgery.
According to research, acupuncture relieves the pain of osteoarthritis and improves the knee.
Some studies have shown that incorporating nutritional supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine into the diet provides benefits in osteoarthritis.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Tai Chi and Yoga
Home remedies for osteoarthritis
The following lifestyle and home remedies can help you deal with osteoarthritis:
Exercise is the most beneficial way to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. The doctor can tell you a proper exercise.
It is very important to lose weight to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis and not cause further damage to the joints. Talk to Dietician about healthy ways to lose weight.
Cold or hot compresses to deal with pain: compressing the joints helps to reduce the symptoms of some patients with osteoarthritis. This can relieve muscle spasms and pain.
If osteoarthritis is causing difficulty in walking or completing other daily tasks, the problem can be dealt with by using some accessories such as scooters, walkers, splints, shoe orthotics, etc.
We hope that you can now understand what is osteoarthritis, its causes, symptoms and remedies. Do not ignore any small symptoms the first time you see them. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible so that they can start some treatment.
You can also follow some lifestyle changes or home remedies so that you can reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis.