Arthritis is one of the most severe chronic pain conditions. It is more common in older people. But you might not have heard of osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis. You will find yourself having it at some point in your life. There are almost 10% of men and 13% of women that deal with it at some point in life.
But what actually is osteoarthritis? How can you deal with it?
Osteoarthritis is a condition in which cartilage in the joints is affected by it. Cartilage is something like a spongy tissue that develops a cushion between your bones that allows them to move smoothly against each other. This makes it possible for us to move without damaging the bones.
When Osteoarthritis occurs, the cartilage starts to break down over time and wear away. Due to this, the bones start to push against each other and results in the development of a bone spur in the joints. It is a severely painful condition that would result in stiffening of joints and difficulty in moving. It starts becoming worse and worse, as this cartilage between the joints continues to wear away over time.
A lot of things can make the risk of Osteoarthritis even worse. To start with, there is obesity. This condition is more likely to develop in people who are overweight. The reason is that extra weight puts more pressure on the cartilage due to which it wears away more likely.
Secondly, there is old age. This condition is more likely to develop in people of old age, as they live longer and walk around and wear more places on the joints. But that doesn’t mean that getting older make Osteoarthritis unavoidable. A lot of people are there who are living well in their old age and have never developed this condition.
At last, cartilage in the joints can also be destroyed by other joint conditions like regular arthritis and leads towards Osteoarthritis.
Usually, it occurs in fewer places. It is found commonly in knee but it can also strike hand joints or hip. But it can nearly occur anywhere.
Swollen joints that result from inflammation of the damaged tissue, are the most obvious sign of having Osteoarthritis. The joints also start to get painful and stiff. Especially it seems true when not used for a while. There is a chance of having Osteoarthritis when you wake up in the morning with stiff, achy joints.
Things you can do for treating it
No cure is there as well as no pill is there that can help you in recovering the lost cartilage between your bones. Do what you can in order to prevent it from getting even worse, as it is the most effective way of dealing with Osteoarthritis.
Starting with the overweight issue, it will be helpful for you if you drop some extra pounds. If you have less weight, it means less pressure is applied to the joints and it will help to protect cartilage. Secondly, if you are doing a job that requires a lot of typing or something in which you frequently have to use your hands, make sure to take breaks regularly. Your arthritis can become worse by continuously stressing your joints.
Still, there are some ways to treat this condition. For example, some basic over the counter painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen are available. These treatments are advantageous in a way that they are easy to get and also reduce inflammation in the joints.
Moreover, regular injections of corticosteroids are also available that help in controlling inflammation. Corticosteroids are a type of hormone that the body produces naturally to reduce the inflammation. It can also be injected for therapeutic benefits.
At last, when your Osteoarthritis becomes severe, doctors recommend surgery. This is usually common in such situations in which the hip joints or knees are affected, since having severe damage in these joints make the walking much difficult. So, what the surgeon does is replace the joint with the artificial one in a procedure known as “joint replacement”.
This replacement is made of metal, ceramic or plastic and is embedded into the bone in order to grow into it and it will result in making up for the damaged joint.
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