Arthritis is a pain that many people feel but aren’t exactly sure what it is. There are dozens of different types of arthritis. One form of arthritis is known as osteoarthritis, and it is one of the more common types.
Osteoarthritis can be found in the hand, hip, knee, spine, and feet.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the articular cartilage, the connective tissue that gives a smooth, lubricated surface for movement, degenerates or wears away. Unlike other tissues, articular cartilage does not have blood vessels or nerves. This is why most joint movements are painless. It also means that healing and repair of this cartilage is limited.
Some of the risk factors include:
- Excessive mechanical stress
- Muscle weakness
- Structural malalignment
- Gender (higher tendency in women)
Typically, symptoms begin to appear around the age of 40, or after a traumatic injury. Once exposed to osteoarthritis, you may develop the following symptoms:
- Loss of motion
In severe cases, osteoarthritis causes a loss of normal functionality and general muscle weakness. If left untreated, your risk of developing more symptoms increases.
There is not a cure for osteoarthritis, but treatments and prevention methods have proven to be successful in managing the condition. You should start by reducing risk factors you can control by practicing weight loss if overweight and strengthening muscles.
Some doctors prescribe anti-inflammatories, viscosupplementation injections, and cortisone injections to treat the condition. A physical therapy program can also help strengthen and maintain the muscles around your joint. In some cases, surgery may be recommended for young adults that are suffering from articular cartilage damage.
If you are suffering from severe pain, you should contact your physician.
Elite’s physicians diagnose and treat arthritis in: