WHAT IS OSTEOARTHRITIS

By Unknown - June 22, 2017

Osteoarthritis Disease

Osteoarthritis is characterized by thinning or degeneration of cartilage and degeneration of bone in some part of the joint, but an overproduction of bony tissue in some parts. According to GBD 2015 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators, “osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting about 237 million (3.3%) of the population. Among those over 60 years old, about 10% of males and 18% of females are affected. It is the cause of about 2% of years lived with disability. In Australia, about 1.9 million people are affected, and in the United States, 30 to 52.5 million people are affected”. Osteoarthritis is the most common in older people. The joint may be irregularly enlarged, but it is rarely inflamed.
  Although osteoarthritis can affect any joint in your body, it most often affects finger and weight-bearing joint's, such as the hips, knees and ankles. Some people who have had a joint injury develop osteoarthritis in the damaged joint years after the injury. In addition to normal wear-and-tear or unusual trauma to joints, heredity seems to play a part in the development of the disease. Osteoarthritis, especially in the hips and fingers, tends to run in the families. Being overweight may also bring on osteoarthritis, probably because the excess weight puts more stress on the joints, especially the knees.

Treatment for osteoarthritis is aimed at relieving pain. If you are experiencing pain, apply heat  in any form( warm bath or using a heating pad) to them for half an hour or more at least three times a day. Your doctor will probably advice you to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Acetaminophen may also be helpful.
  Exercises to strengthen the area around joints and maintain a normal range of motion can reduce symptoms. Avoid fatigue and overexertion especially in activities that involve use of the affected joints.
  If overweight, reduce the weight to normal. The diet should be well-balanced but somewhat low in starches and sweets.
  Simple lifestyle changes, such as changing your sleeping position or the way you carry heavy things may also help reduce the symptoms. When the osteoarthritis is more severe, you may need to use a cane or walker.

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