Probably the most common kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis is also known as the one characterized by major wear and tear. A common affliction nowadays, the reasons for this painful problem are many and often results in more extreme forms of cure and care like hip or knee surgery and severe joint damage, if not curtailed and kept under control. It is also known as degenerative arthritis or osteoarthrosis.
This degenerative joint disease much like its name suggests is characterized by the daily wear and tear of the joints that reaches an advanced and painful stage. The joints are usually inflammed and you also find the breakdown in the protective cartilage areas of the joints and it does not affect other organs of the body. Occurring in almost any joint of the body osteoarthritis is a painful and uncomfortable disease that affects parts of the body like the fingers, toes, neck, hips, knees and the like.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis often manifest themselves in repetitive and recurrent joint pain, swelling, inflammation, pain, stiffness and more in the joints. After long periods of sitting or inactive hours in the same position you may also find a spread of warmth or heat in the affected joints as well as creaking and extreme stiffness. Some patients also suffer from pain in the neck or lower back along with a discomfiting tingling sensation that occurs due to osteoarthritis in the cervical or lumbar spine. Although one usually thinks that the discomfort caused by this form of arthritis only flares up when in motion it isn’t true. Pain and discomfort can also plague osteoarthritis during periods of rest and limited mobility making it extremely inconvenient and uncomfortable.
Even though symptoms vary from person to person, looking out for these signs is always a good idea and a wise one to consult your medical practitioner immediately. The pain and other symptoms can get extremely debilitating, not to mention also cause a physical change in appearance like swollen and twisted fingers and toes, curvature in the knees and more. Some patients also develop a marked limp and bone spurs.
There are numerous causes that lead to the development of osteoarthritis. The two main causes are as follows –
With obesity being a major cause of many, many illnesses and bodily problems today, arthritis is another ill effect of carrying way too much weight. In fact it is one of the most impactful risk factors when it comes to the occurrence of this problem and is one most people can actually do something about. It is especially marked in weight bearing joints like the knees and hips since the stress on the protective cartilage is increased manifold with an increase in body weight.
Due to the increase in water content and destruction of protein in cartilage as we grow older as well as joint usage over the years can cause swelling and pain. The degeneration of the cartilage over time causes friction between the joint bones and can also lead to flaking and formation of bone spurs and small crevasses.
Besides these two osteoarthritis can also be spurred on by the over use of joints, injuries, genetic and hereditary factors. If you are in pain or have any doubt that you may be suffering from arthritis or it runs in your family, it is best to consult your doctor immediately. Although it may not have a permanent cure, the curtailment as we well as relief measures must be implemented immediately to avoid more severe problems and measures like knee surgery.
Hannah Jones is a physical therapist and often writes about health and fitness issues. She feels that the surge in hip and knee surgery lately points to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and improper workout activities. When not with clients she loves hiking and practicing yoga.