Do you feel that your joints are swollen, especially after some activity? Do you feel pain and stiffness in your body joints after resting or in the morning when you wake up? And does these lead to limited range of motion? Then, you will have to rush to a doctor to get yourself checked. The things that you are observing and feeling are not normal. They needs to be get checked as they are the common symptoms of Osteoarthritis. The sore joints, cracking sounds when a joint bends over, swelling around any joint, pain that stays after you do some activity or keeps on going the whole day are not any random normal problems. These are the sure shot symptoms that you might have Osteoarthritis.
After you have come across the common symptoms, the thing that must be running in your head is what actually Osteoarthritis is. So, let me tell you what it is. Osteoarthritis (OA) is actually the most common chronic joints condition. This can affect any joint present in the body but mostly occurs in hip, knees, small joints of fingers and thumb base and big toe, lower back and neck. The difference between a normal joint and the one that is affected by Osteoarthritis is the breaking down of cartilage that covers the joints. The breaking down of the cartilage is what leads to the swelling of the joint, the pain and the difficulty in moving the joint. If Osteoarthritis is not diagnosed early and with time worsens, the bones may break down and eventually develop growths known as spurs. The final stages of Osteoarthritis lead to the wear away as bone rubs against bone leading to the damage of the joint.
The next thing that must be running in your head is the cause of the problem. Prevention is better than cure and you definitely want to know it, right? There are some causes:
- There is one possibility of a rare defect in the collagen production of the body. Collagen is a protein that makes cartilage. Because of this defect, Osteoarthritis can occur at early age of 20.
- The weight can be the other cause. Being overweight actually puts pressure on the hips and the knee. As the joints get to have so much of pressure, the cartilage that covers the joints eventually breaks down faster than it must in people with normal weight. Plus, the excess fat tissue produces cytokines which can damage the joints.
- The people who go through a lot of injuries to the joints like fractures and ligaments tears can have Osteoarthritis in accelerating rate. The cartilage breakdown can speed up because of the injuries and will eventually lead to Osteoarthritis. If you or someone whom you know has the problem, you might want to know the treatment of the problem. The problem Osteoarthritis has no cure but there are definitely some treatments which can manage the symptoms.
- Physical Activity is must for the patients. This is one of the best ways to manage the problem. Moving will hurt as the joints can’t work properly but it is important part of the treatment. Different types of exercising can help in different things. Like strengthening ones can help in building muscles around joints that are affected by OA. Range of motion exercises can help in maintaining and improving the flexibility of the joints and reducing the pain.
- Weight loss can help the patients in reducing the pain of the joints like hips and knees and preventing any further damage to the joints. Stretching, whereas, can improve the flexibility and can lessen the stiffness of the joints.
- Except the physical activities, there are many medications present which can help in managing the pain and other troubles. Analgesics, Coticosteroids, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and Hyaluronic acids can be used.