Osteoarthritis- causes , symptoms and treatment.

What is Osteoarthritis ?

If you feel pain and stiffness in your body or have trouble moving around, you might have arthritis. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of it and related conditions . Osteoarthritis is the most common type.

Types of Arthritis :

  • Osteoarthritis is the most common type. It’s often related to aging or to an injury.
  •  Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form .
  • Juvenile arthritis : happens in children.
  • Infectious arthritis is an infection that has spread from another part of the body to the joint.
  • Psoriatic arthritis affects people with psoriasis.
  • Gout is a painful type that happens when too much uric acid builds up in the body. It often starts in the big toe.

However Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common kinds.

It’s often related to aging or to an injury. Osteoarthritis results from breakdown of joint cartilage and

underlying bone. That makes the bones rub against each other. You might feel pain in your fingers, knees, or

hips. Initially, symptoms may occur only following exercise, but over time may become constant. The most

commonly involved joints are those near the ends of the fingers, at the base of the thumb, neck, lower back,

knee, and hips. With aging, the water content of the cartilage increases, and the protein makeup of cartilage

degenerates as a function of biologic processes. Eventually, cartilage begins to degenerate by flaking or

forming tiny crevasses. In advanced osteoarthritis, there is a total loss of the cartilage cushion between the

bones of the joints. Repetitive use of the worn joints over the years can mechanically irritate and inflame the

cartilage, causing joint pain and swelling. Loss of the cartilage cushion causes friction between the bones,

leading to pain and limitation of joint mobility.Risk is greater in those who are overweight, have one leg of a

different length, and have jobs that result in high levels of joint stress. Osteoarthritis occasionally can

develop in multiple members of the same family, implying a hereditary (genetic) basis for this condition.

Osteoarthritis is therefore felt to be a result of a combination of each of the above factors that ultimately

lead to a narrowing of the cartilage in the affected joint.

Who’s Affected?

Osteoarthritis occurs in people of all ages, osteoarthritis is most common in people older than 65. Common risk factors include  increasing age, obesity, previous joint injury, overuse of the joint,

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary, depending on which joints are affected and how severely they are affected.

However, the most common symptoms are pain and stiffness, particularly first thing in the morning or after

resting.Stiffness is most common in the morning, and typically lasts less than thirty minutes after beginning

daily activities, but may return after periods of inactivity. Affected joints may get swollen, especially after

extended activity. Other osteoarthritis symptoms and signs include

  • swollen joints,
  • joint stiffness,
  • joint creaking

Treatment :

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease. There is no cure, but treatments are available to manage symptoms. Long-term management of the disease will include several factors.Treatment includes exercise, efforts to decrease joint stress, support groups, and pain medications.Weight loss may help in those who are overweight.One of the most beneficial ways to manage Osteoarthritis is to get moving. While it may be hard to think of exercise. when the joints hurt, moving is considered an important part of the treatment plan. Slow, gentle stretching of joints may improve flexibility, lessen stiffness and reduce pain.

Anti-inflammatory Medications : analgesics , Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 

Corticosteroids,  Hyaluronic acid. Any of the medicine mentioned should be taken with consultation of you doctor. 

Surgery : Joint surgery can repair or replace severely damaged joints, especially hips or knees. A doctor will refer an eligible patient to an orthopaedic surgeon to perform the procedure.