OA is the most common joint disease when the cartilage between bones breaks down and causes severe chronic pain. This is an extremely common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a disease of the whole joint, not only cartilage.
Commonly affected joint by Osteoarthritis
- Low back
- Finger joints
- Base of thumb
- Base of the toe.
Gender: Women are more predisposed to Osteoarthritis than men, especially after menopause.
Joint injuries: Overweight and overstress on joints increase the rate at which cartilage wears off.
Genes: If this runs in your family, the likelihood of developing it increases.
Age: The condition is common in the elderly due to progressive changes that occur in the joints in old age.
Occupation: Repetitive strain from the activities such as sports.
Other: History of inflammation illness or certain medications.
Signs and Symptoms
Osteoarthritis may be asymptomatic. The signs develop gradually and worsen with time.
- Cracking sound in the joint during passive movement of the joint.
- Severe pain and swelling in the joint.
- Tenderness in the joints mainly occurs when light pressure to the joint is applied.
- Loss of flexibility in joints.
Stages of Osteoarthritis
- Joint pain occurs with particular physical activities.
- Pain triggered by a particular movement.
- Along with symptoms, pain occurs sporadically.
- Over time pain become more frequent.
- May cause issues with daily functioning.
- Dull ache
- Pain becomes constant.
How does a doctor diagnose Osteoarthritis?
- The doctor does a physical examination and examines affected areas to find out signs.
- The doctor is more likely to examine your blood tests and joint fluid parameters to confirm the diagnosis.
- The doctor prescribes imaging studies which may include X-rays and MRIs to see a clear picture of joints.
Osteoarthritisis an irreversible health condition. Treatment can help you manage the pain and other symptoms well. Treatment includes:
Medication: The doctor may prescribe pain killers to moderate discomfort and pain and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Physiotherapy: Your doctor may refer you for PT, as it helps you work out to strengthen surrounding knee joint muscles to relieve pain and increase flexibility level.
Occupational Therapy: therapist can help you learn things to ease your everyday task.
Cortisone injections: to relieve joint pain.
Viscosupplementation injection: to lubricate your joint and pain.
Realignment of bones: may suggest you knee osteotomy. Your one side of the knee is more damaged, so the doctor may recommend an osteotomy.
Joint replacement: (arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure in which a doctor replaces your damaged part of the knee with an artificial joint.
Lifestyle Changes Play an Important Role: such as
- Weight loss
- Using over-the-counter creams
- Cold pack
- Using heat
Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease. There is no long-lasting cure for it; however, with the proper treatment and lifestyle change, You can manage it to a reasonable extent and lead normal life.