Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the commonest types of arthritis in both India and worldwide. The joint condition generally results from the breakdown of the joint cartilage and the bone. Its victims are commonly aged 50 and above, but studies indicate that before the age of 45, the disease occurs more frequently in males.
OA mostly affects these joints; hips, fingertips, knees, hands, and the neck (neck or lower back region).
Osteoarthritis As a Joint Disease
Osteoarthritis can also be referred to as degenerative arthritis, a joint disease characterized by the breakdown of the cartilage. The cartilage is a protein substance or you can also a protective ‘cushion’, located between the bones. The cartilage in every joint prevents the bones from rubbing against each other.
When the cushion is reduced, the bones end up rubbing against each other and this typically results in joint pain and stiffness. OA is a progressive condition and one of the major causes of disability worldwide. The damage triggered is irreversible, but there are a number of management treatments a patient can rely on.
How Does Osteoarthritis Manifest It’self?
Osteoarthritis commonly arises from a number of conditions and they include;
- Poor Posture
- Gender (more common in women)
- Joint abnormalities such as Perthes’ disease of the hips
- Career/job, especially those that require repetitive activities
- Past surgery (dislocated joints, ligament injuries, and torn cartilage)
- Bleeding disorders and medical conditions such as hemophilia and avascular necrosis.
- Other forms of arthritis, such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis
Which Symptoms Are Associated With Osteoarthritis?
There are a number of symptoms that can indicate Osteoarthritis and they include;
- Joint stiffness
- Reduced range of motion
- Discomfort limited to specific times (this commonly occurs during the early stages)
- Loss of flexibility
- Abnormal sensations
- Joint creaking
- Changes in the joint appearance
Vital Facts About Osteoarthritis You Must Know
- Osteoarthritis progresses through a number of stages- stage (0 to 4)
- The joint pain can become worse, accompanied by swelling in and around the joint.
- Severe Osteoarthritis is presented at stage 4
- Osteoarthritis can stabilize at one point and in a majority of individuals, meaning that not all OA patients can develop stage 4 OA.
- Severe Osteoarthritis can lead to;
- Increased inflammation and swelling due to excess synovial fluid or fragments of broken-off cartilage floating within this fluid
- Decreased range of motion
- Increased pain while performing regular activities
- Increased risk of injury or falling
- Muscle weakness
Osteoarthritis OA Treatment (Recommended as per Stage)
Osteoarthritis can’t be cured, but the orthopaedic doctor can recommend a number of lifestyle changes alongside an effective treatment approach to manage the disease. Possible treatment approaches for OA include;
- Massage therapy
- Physical therapy
- Weight loss
- Physical exercises
- Supplements to relieve joint inflammation – these may include green tea, ginger, fish oil, and Glucosamine
- Heat or cold therapy
- Maintain a proper diet with foods that contain (vitamins C and D, antioxidants, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoids).
Best Tips for Preventing Osteoarthritis
- Maintain a normal body weight
- Eat well
- Have enough sleep
Involve yourself in different workouts.