Sometimes called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints. OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers, and the bases of the thumb and big toe.
Consider watching this video to know more about what is Rheumatoid Arthritis…
In healthy joints, a firm, rubbery material called cartilage covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint motion and acts as a cushion between the bones. In OA, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling, and problems moving the joint. As OA worsens over time, bones may break down and develop growths called spurs. Bits of bone or cartilage may chip off and float around in the joint. In the body, an inflammatory process occurs, and cytokines (proteins) and enzymes develop that further damage the cartilage. In the final stages of OA, the cartilage wears away, and bone rubs against bone, leading to joint damage and more pain.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary depending on which joints are affected and how severely they are affected. However, the most common symptoms are pain and stiffness, particularly first thing in the morning or after resting. Affected joints may get swollen, especially after extended activity. These symptoms tend to build over time rather than show up suddenly.
OA pain, swelling, or stiffness may make it difficult to perform ordinary tasks at work or home. Simple acts like tucking in bed sheets, opening a box of food, grasping a computer mouse or driving a car can become nearly impossible. When the lower body joints are affected, activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and lifting objects may become difficult. When finger and hand joints are affected, osteoarthritis can make it challenging to grasp and hold objects, such as a pencil, or to do delicate tasks, such as needlework.
Many people believe that the effects of osteoarthritis are inevitable, so they don’t do anything to manage it. OA symptoms can hinder work, social life, and family life if steps are not taken to prevent joint damage, manage pain, and increase flexibility.
The pain, reduced mobility, side effects from medication, and other factors associated with osteoarthritis can lead to adverse health effects not directly related to the joint disease.
Knee or hip pain may lead to a sedentary lifestyle that promotes weight gain and possible obesity. Being overweight or obese can lead to the development of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
People with osteoarthritis experience as much as 30 percent more falls and have a 20 percent greater risk of fracture than those without OA. People with OA have to risk factors such as decreased function, muscle weakness, and impaired balance that makes them more likely to fall. Side effects from medications used for pain relief can also contribute to falls. Narcotic pain relievers can cause people to feel dizzy and unbalanced.
Arthritis is painful! It prevents us from leading active, healthy lifestyles. It means we are more likely to develop other serious illnesses. Osteoarthritis affects different people, and different joints, in different ways. But, for most people, osteoarthritis doesn’t continue to get steadily worse over time.
There are several different types of arthritis, We have covered almost all of them in our videos. If you want to know more about arthritis and how to manage it, head to our Youtube channel to watch the videos.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!