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Osteoarthritis: Learn how to manage it


Date Posted: 11/21/2012 6:40:44 AM

Posted By: fly1234  Membership Level: Bronze  Total Points: 15

Osteoarthritis also known as degenerative joint disease is the most common cause of chronic joint pain. It involves the joints, the nearby muscles, bones, ligaments, joint linings and capsule.

Osteoarthritis, in most cases will result from normal aging, however, both men and women at their younger age have developed it. Women, according to research, have developed it more after menopause.

Cartilage is a firm, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at the joints, and allow bones to glide smoothly during motion. In osteoarthritis, the bones rub against each other due to the wearing of cartilage. This results into pain, swelling and stiffness.

Risk factors
The disease seems to run in families. However, it is common with those who are overweight, and those who have heard a history of fracture and joint injuries. One can also increase their chances of developing osteoarthritis if their occupation involves kneeling, squatting, lifting heavy objects, climbing stairs or walking long distances.

Some sports which involve the movement of knee joints can also escalate the risk factor. They include football, basketball or throwing discus..

Medical factors that increases the risk include hemophilia, avascular necrosis, gout, diabetes among others.

The common symptoms are pain and stiffness of the affected joint. The pain increases after exercise or after bearing weight.

Sometimes there is crepitations(disintegrating joints) with joint movement. The stiffness is worse in the morning, but gradually disappears with mild activity.

Also, osteoarthritis of the spine may cause osteophytes(bony growths) which may affect adjacent nerves, leading to weakness of the arms and legs. It can lead to chronic back pain as well.

Osteoarthritis patients may show the following signs: crepitation of joints on movement, joint swelling, pain in the joints.

Diagnosis may include X-ray exermination, which demonstrates loss of joint space as well as any bony changes such as osteophytes, while an MRI demonstrates soft tissue movement.

Treatment and management
The osteoarthritis

cannot be cured, but can be managed. Treatment include surgery for severe osteoarthritis and painkillers.

Over the counter drugs include steroielal anti-inflamation drugs such as ibuprofen. Corticosteroid injections may be injected into the affected joint.

One can also avert the risk of developing this disease through regular exercise. Swimming is so far the best exercise. Maintaining a healthy weight is also important in reducing further wear and tear, because the heavier one is, the higher the rate of joint destruction.

Physiotherapy is also another effective as it improves muscles strength and also motion of stiff joints.

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