Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that mostly affects the cartilage. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide over one another. It also absorbs energy from the shock of physical movement. In Osteoarthritis, the surface layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint. Over time, the joint may lose its normal shape. Also, bone spurs--small growths called osteophytes--may grow on the edges of the joint. Bits of bone or cartilage can break off and float inside the joint space. This causes more pain and damage.
|Do You Have Osteoarthritis?|
|If you have pain in one or more joints, it is fairly likely that you suffer from
. Typically, it is characterized by pain, stiffness and even some “cracking noises” in your joints. Joint pain is usually some signal to you that there is some cartilage degeneration going on. |
When you get an X-ray or CT-scan, the deteriorating cartilage will look ragged and pockmarked. Without healthy cartilage, the joint will no longer have the smooth contours and “shock absorption” it should have. In the absence of steps to halt this process, it continues to worsen.
As the joint structure deteriorates, the synovium (joint lining) can become inflamed, causing additional pain. What the joint “does” is try to fix this problem by producing more synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is a slick, watery substance that lubricates and nourishes the cartilage. However, what usually happens is that the extra synovial fluid ends up in the joint space causing swelling and inflammation.
This is the sequence of events that causes the process of to begin. It is a painful, debilitating disease that can affect your life if you do nothing about it. Pain and lack of mobility are the price you pay for ignoring it. The deterioration of cartilage will eventually leave that affected joint “bone on bone” and you can only imagine how painful that is. Whether you suffer from this condition or are trying to prevent it, every step that you can take to avoid the consequences is well worth it.
|What causes osteoarthritis?|
is classified as either primary or secondary. Primary is the most common form. Although there is no known cause, numerous risk factors have been identified. Secondary is caused by another disease that sets off the joint degeneration, such as an infection, severe injury or congenital deformity.|
, the most common type of , is a condition caused by wear and tear on the cartilage of your joints. This strong tissue usually cushions joints, but can wear down over time, causing joints to ache, and become stiff and painful. There's no cure, but a variety of painkillers and treatments can help, as can losing weight if you have over weight.
Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the end of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide over one another. It also absorbs energy from the shock of physical movement.
In , the surface layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together, causing pain, swelling and loss of motion.
Over time, the joint may lose its normal shape. Also, bone spurs (small growths) may grow on the edges of the joint. Bits of bones or cartilage can break off and float inside the joint space, causing pain and damage.
People who are older and overweight are more prone to . Before age 45, more men than women have , after which it becomes more common in women. In some cases, may run in families.
|What are the treatments for osteoarthritis?|
is aimed at the processes that are thought to cause this problem. As discussed previously, is due to both mechanical (wear-and-tear) and biologic (breakdown and repair of joint cartilage) processes.|
itself is not life threatening, but a person's quality of life can significantly deteriorate as a result of pain and lost mobility. No treatment can cure , and none can alter its progression with certainty, but many available treatments can relieve symptoms and significantly improve the quality of life.
There are many treatment options to control your knee joint pain and stiffness; you just need to find the one that is best for you. Treatment for can include exercise, weight control, physical therapy, medications and knee surgery. Most treatments will involve a combination of methods. Before beginning any treatment, discuss your options with your doctor.
|Don’t take a chance with your Osteoarthritis Pain|
|The goals of osteoarthritis treatment are:|
|What are Effective osteoarthritis treatments?|
should target pain management and improved joint movement. The good news is that you can improve with treatment. Getting a correct diagnosis and working with your doctor and other health professionals to design the best treatment plan is essential. This will take into consideration the nature of your symptoms and your age, occupation and lifestyle interests.|
Your doctor can advise what pain relief medication is best for you. Supplementation with glucosamine-based products combined with a ‘lifestyle program’ of exercise, diet and professional advice can help. This will help to keep your joints, bones and muscles healthy and strong.
Surgery is an option, though not exercised by many due to various reasons such as diabetes, painful recovery, old age or poor general health.
is a non surgical treatment option that can successfully halt the progression of the disease and gives significant relief from pain. This treatment is suitable for all age groups and can be administered to patients suffering from other conditions such as diabetes.