Osteoarthritis is a very common form of arthritis that occurs when the cartilage breaks down. Cartilage is tough elastic material that protects as well as covers the ends of bones, and if some bits were to break off, they would cause pain as well as swell the joint between bones and is known as inflammation.
As people grow older, the cartilage gets worn down completely causing the bones to rub together, and osteoarthritis is able to affect any joint, though most often, it is the hips, knees, spine as well as hands that are affected most.
It is a disease that affects joints in the body and usually occurs in the hips, knees, feet as well as spine. One may also classify osteoarthritis as non-inflammatory arthritis, which will initially not cause inflammation, but with progression, does cause a certain amount of inflammation.
Can Lead To Other Problems As Well
Osteoarthritis may also lead to other problems including weakening the muscles that hold the joint in place, and loosing of shape of the joints. It is known to affect men and women equally, and occurs around the age of forty-five, though it may also occur at any age. There are certain warning signs indicating the presence of such a condition that include pain, stiffness as well as swelling around the joint that goes on for more than two weeks, and also experiencing persistent pain in the joints which may necessitate a visit to a doctor for diagnosis and further treatment.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis are slow to appear and occur around the joint area, and damages are noticeable slowly over time that can lead to several problems. It is often noticed that there is a grating sound that is heard when the roughened cartilage of the bone’s surface rubs together, and there may also be bumps or swelling, mostly on the fingers and feet.
With persistent joint pain occurring, patients need to consult a physician and describe in detail the pain, including where it occurs and when.
X-rays are most useful in confirming this condition even though the exact cause of such conditions is yet to be fully understood. However, with advancing age, the chances of getting osteoarthritis increase as does being overweight, which causes more unwanted stress to joints such as the hip and knees.
As scientists continue to grapple with the problem of understanding what causes osteoarthritis, and with more research being conducted, there is sufficient evidence for them to conclude that heredity, excess weight, joint damage from another type of arthritis as well as injury are major risk factors contributing to such a condition.
It is necessary to establish the correct diagnosis since that would help to manage osteoarthritis as most therapies, when started early, will work best to control the disease. There are many treatments that help lessen pain and stiffness as well as to facilitate easier movement, and the active involvement of the patient to the prescribed treatment plan would be beneficial as well.