Osteoarthritis – Types & Causes | Symptoms & Treatment

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of joint disease that is caused by aging joints, injury, and obesity. It is usually referred to as “wear and tear” of the joints, but now it is scientifically researched that it is a disease affecting the entire joint, including the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments, and bone.

It results from the breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone. The most common symptoms know are joint pain and stiffness. The most commonly involved joints are those near the end of the fingers, the base of the thumb, neck, lower back, knee, and hips.

 Symptoms & Treatment

 

The Cause of Osteoarthritis

Joints work pain-free because of a firm, rubbery material called cartilage that covers the end of each bone. This provides a frictionless surface for the joints to glide on and prevents bones from rubbing against each other. In osteoarthritis, this cartilage layer breaks down and causes pain, swelling and inflammation in the joint between the bones. Over time, the constant friction can lead to bits of bone breaking off and farther pain.

While osteoarthritis is often caused by overuse of the joints due to aging, your risk level can go up because of obesity, overuse of joints, previous joint injuries and even genetics.

 
Types of Osteoarthritis

There are several types of Osteoarthritis

Shoulder: Shoulder arthritis comes in many forms, most commonly osteoarthritis, followed by forms of inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

  • The cartilage in the joints breaks down

  • Abnormal bony growths, called osteophytes or bone spurs, develop in the joint

Cervical: It is a condition that involves changes to the bones, discs, and joints of the neck.

Hand: Osteoarthritis of the hand more frequently in certain spots like the base of the thumb, at the end of the finger closest to the nail and middle of the finger.

Hip: Osteoarthritis of the hip causes pain and stiffness. It can make it hard to do everyday activities like bending over to tie a shoe, rising from a chair, or taking a short walk.

Osteoarthritis of the Knee: While age is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis of the knee, young people can get it, too. For some individuals, it may be hereditary. For others, osteoarthritis of the knee can result from injury or infection or even from being overweight.

Foot and Ankle: People with ankle osteoarthritis may find that stiffness and pain are most noticeable when they try to get out of bed in the morning or out of a chair after a long period of sitting. When ankle cartilage wears away, the fibula, tibia and talus bones can rub together, resulting in irritation and swelling of the ankle.

Spinal: 

Osteoarthritis of spinal happens once people get older. Younger people may get it from one of the several causes such as injury or trauma to a joint or a genetic defect involving cartilage

 

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Half of adults develop the symptoms of osteoarthritis during their lives, though the severity of symptoms can vary considerably. Some of the common symptoms include:

–      Sore, stiff joints
–      Limited range of movement and mobility
–      Mild swelling around joint
–      Pain that is triggered after physical activity
–      Grating or scraping feeling in joints
–      Bony growths or spurs at the end of fingers

 

Osteoarthritis Treatment

This is a chronic disease. There is no cure, but treatments are available to manage the symptoms. Long-term management of the disease would include several factors:

  • Managing symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and swelling

  • Improving joint mobility and flexibility

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Getting enough of exercise

 
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