What is Osteoarthritis? (Degenerative Joint Disease) –
Presented by healthery.com
Arthritis is a general term used when there is inflammation within the joints. Osteoarthritis, specifically, causes a breakdown of joint cartilage. It is the most common form of arthritis and can occur in any joint. The joints most affect include the knees, hips, and spine. However, it can also create damage in the neck, fingers, and thumbs. It usually occurs when a joint experiences excessive stress or previous injury. Underlying cartilage disorders can also trigger the condition.
What are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis? The most common symptom is pain in the joint, especially after movement. This discomfort is often worse in the later hours of the day. Symptoms include swelling, warmth, creaking, limited motion and limping. As well as stiffness after inactivity, joint deformities and joint dysfunction. Including numbness or tingling and bone spurs. Symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. Some will have no problems, while others may be incapacitated. It is also not uncommon for patients to go for years between flare-ups.
What are the Causes of Osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis can be caused by several factors, such as: Old age, improperly formed joints, being overweight, and stress on the joints. As well as from certain activities or repeating movements over and over. Joint injury (like from sports or accidents) and ligament tears and strains. Including genetic defects in joint cartilage. People over the age of 50 have a higher risk of Osteoarthritis. A gene can be inherited, making them more likely to get Osteoarthritis. One study showed that certain gene variations doubled the risk of arthritis. However, getting this gene doesn’t automatically mean you will develop it.
How is Osteoarthritis Treated? Treatment for osteoarthritis may include a combination of therapy and self-care. Physical exercise, menthol, weight loss, and ice packs can alleviate pain. If needed, NSAID pain relievers can accomplish the same end. As well as physical therapy, stretching exercises, acupuncture and hydrotherapy. Some cases may be severe enough to require joint replacement surgery.
How is Osteoarthritis Prevented? Making simple lifestyle changes helps with prevention, which includes: Exercising, which increases muscle and bone strength, for healthy joints. It also lowers your risk of diabetes and stabilizes your knees and hips. As well as relieves stiffness and reduces fatigue and pain. Exercising at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week, is recommended. Simply walking or gardening can help you lower your risk. Keeping your weight at a healthy level is recommended, especially since: Being overweight causes additional stress to your already-aging joints. Control your blood sugar levels and drink plenty of water. Diabetes speeds up the development of molecules that cause cartilage to stiffen. Getting plenty of rest can also help you prevent Osteoarthritis. When you overuse your joints, your risk will increase. Tell your doctor if you walk, kneel, twist or lift things often.
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