Knee Osteoarthritis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Everything has a shelf life and wear and tear reduced the quality fairly. Your bones are no different. Because of their critical job of supporting your body at any given point in time, your bones become weaker with age, or due to unforeseen circumstances. That’s one of the biggest reasons why most people, at one point in their lives, are bound to suffer from joint pains or other problems related to the bones.
One of the most common, chronic problems of the joints is known as Osteoarthritis. A joint is a point where two bones come together, and the ends of these bones are covered with a protective tissue known as the cartilage. In Osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down, which in turn causing the bones within the joint to rub together, causing pain, stiffness and other symptoms.
The condition is pretty much common in older people, but also affects adults of any age. Osteoarthritis is also called degenerative joint disease, degenerative arthritis, and wear-and-tear arthritis and is considered one of the leading causes of disability.
Joint damage which accumulates over time causes Osteoarthritis. This is the reason why age is one of the leading causes of the joint damage leading to osteoarthritis. The older the person gets, the more wear and tear is experienced by the joints.
Other causes of joint damage other than age include past injuries like –
- A torn cartilage
- Dislocated joints
- Ligament damage/injuries
- Joint malformation
On the other hand, obesity, poor postures are also risk factors, along with family history and gender. They tend to increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
The most commonly affected areas of the body when a person is suffering from Osteoarthritis are –
- Spine (neck or lower back)
However, when a person is suffering from Osteoarthritis, the symptoms of the problem appears in the form of –
- Tenderness and discomfort
The pain and other symptoms are bound to become more intense as Osteoarthritis becomes more advanced in the person. Ideally, it’s necessary to recognise the signs early on and immediately begin treatment options.
The solution for Osteoarthritis is centred around the concept of Symptom Management. The type of treatment also depends on the severity of the problem as well as that of the symptoms a person might be experiencing at the time of diagnosis. Some of the treatment options for Osteoarthritis include –
Strengthening the muscles around your joints will help relieve stiffness. Ideally, patients are asked, as part of their exercise regime to solve the Osteoarthritis problem, to work for about 20-30 mins each day, with gentle, low impact activities on the cards.
Lifestyle changes and a decent exercise regime, along with a stipulated diet as per the individual is also a solution to solve Osteoarthritis in the future.
Patients with Osteoarthritis are advised they get enough sleep daily to ensure the pain is adequately managed. It mainly helps reduce swelling and inflammation.
Heat and cold therapy
Doctors will advise patients to undergo heat and cold therapy to reduce inflammation/sore joints, hot or cold compress about 15-20 mins multiple times in a day could help soothe the problem.
Medication options include –
- Oral analgesics
- Topical analgesics
Osteoarthritis is a condition with a chronic nature to it that doesn’t have a cure, yet. However, with proper treatments to manage the symptoms, pain, stiffness and inflammation, patients can have a positive outlook. Consult a doctor if you have any symptoms that refuse to go away and get immediate treatment for Osteoarthritis.
About the Doctor:
Dr. Madhu Thumu is one of the most famous and patient orthopaedic surgeons practising for the last 12 years, and has gained a lot of good-will from every single patient he has treated. Along with his exceptional skills in joint replacement surgeries, he is also good at personal counselling, which has helped many people grow out of their worries.
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