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Osteoarthritis – The causes and prevention

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of joints that are commonly found in elderly people. This is a chronic disease that affects the joints of the bones. While this disease can affect any bone joint, osteoarthritis normally targets the knee joints, lower back, hips or neck. When your bone joints are affected by OA, it damages the cartilage which acts as a cushion between the joints. It breaks down the cartilage that causes inflammation and severe pain. If this medical condition is left untreated for long then it can wear off the bones and enable the development of spurs.

If you wish to know more, then this Healthreviewss blog will throw some light on OA.

Who gets affected by this disease?

Osteoarthritis can affect people of any age. However, statistics say that people who are over 65 years of age get affected by OA. It is a very commonly seen problem in the elderly people. A lot of people who ages put on weight or become obese. This exerts a lot of pressure on the knees and results in brittle bones and osteoarthritis. Apart from obesity, there are few other factors that cause the elders to get affected by this chronic and degenerative disease.  These include:

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  • Too much of use of the joints, like excessive running or working out
  • Previous injuries of the joint
  • Normal aging factor
  • Hereditary
  • Weakening muscles of the thighs

The symptoms

Since it is a type of arthritis, it causes a lot of pain. Osteoarthritis is a medical condition that comes with quite a few symptoms. However, the symptom will differ according to the joints it has got affected. One of the primary symptoms of this problem is the stiffness of the joints. This stiffness is felt mostly after you wake up in the morning or after resting for a few hours. The stiffness will also affect your mobility to a considerable extent.  The most important thing that one needs to remember is that these problems do not come up all of a sudden but develops gradually with time. Some other symptoms include:

  • Cracking and clicking sound of the bones
  • Inflammation and swelling around the affected joints
  • Hampered mobility to walk at a stretch
  • Joint pain after a walk or other activity

How can you treat this problem?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease and thus treating this medical condition can be a little tricky. Since one of the most common causes of OA is overweight it becomes an imperative for the patient to reduce weight and try getting lighter on the body. OA must not be neglected at all and should be treated at the first sign of its appearance. A proper diagnosis is very important in order to understand the type of treatment to be administered. Keeping your mobility helps you to keep your joints flexible. However, while you plan out an exercise routine make sure that you take your doctor’s advice first. Apart from that the doctors can advise on taking medicines like analgesics to kill pain, corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid and NSAID. Physiotherapy is an important part of treating OA as it keeps the joints lubricated and mobile.