What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease and is also the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes the breaking down of cartilage in the joints and may occur almost anywhere.
What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joint. Pain and stiffness occur after long periods of inactivity or after repetitive usage of the affected joint. Symptoms can vary from patient to patient. Some have constant pain after usage, while others go years between experiencing symptoms.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is caused by the degeneration of cartilage that leads to joint pain. Primarily, osteoarthritis is caused by the process of aging, but there are specific things that can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
What Increases My Risk of Developing Osteoarthritis?
There are several things that increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Things that may lead to the development of osteoarthritis include: heredity; obesity; injury; and joint overuse. While you cannot control your genetics, and in some cases being injured you are able to control your weight and joint use.
Try to eat a well balanced diet and stay active. However, protect yourself from injury and when you are exercising vary your routines and never over train. Some people have jobs that require repeated actions, for example many people with jobs in the trades, such as plumbing. Protective gear must be used to limit joint damage.
How is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed?
Osteoarthritis is diagnosed using a combination of tests and examinations. Blood tests rule out other conditions or other types of arthritis. X-rays can help determine if you have the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Arthrocentesis, the injecting of a needle into the affected joint to remove some fluid, can be used to exclude things like gout, infection, and other causes of arthritis. Additionally, arthrocentesis may help to relieve some pain, swelling, and inflammation. A final analysis of all the information is then needed to properly determine whether osteoarthritis is present.
How Osteoarthritis Treated?
Osteoarthritis is treated a variety of ways, from medications, to surgery, even a positive attitude is needed. Types of medications include: topical pain relievers; acetaminophen; NSAIDs; COX-2 inhibitors; tramadol; antidepressants; and intra-articular injections.Surgical treatments: joint replacement; fragment removal; repositioning bones; and fusing bones.