The Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Sometimes known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis found in the knee. It is formed as the cartilage in the knee gradually wears away. This causes the bones of joints to rub more closely together. Generally, the symptoms of osteoarthritis result in pain, swelling, decreased movement and stiffness.
Women over the age of 55 are the most at risk in developing osteoarthritis. However, there are a number of other causes to the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
- Age – As you get older, your ability to heal cartilage decreases
- Weight – The heavier you are, the more pressure there is on your knees
- Heredity – It is possible to inherit abnormalities in the shape of your bones and genetic mutations. Both of these can lead to osteoarthritis
- Repetitive Stress Injury – Commonly found in people with jobs that include a lot joint stress activity. For example, kneeling, squatting and heavy lifting
- Athletics – Whilst exercise will strengthen your joints and lower the chance of osteoarthritis, certain sports come with a higher risk level. Football, tennis and long-distance running are among these due to extra impact on the joints.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis may differ for each person. This list will describe some of the most common. If you notice yourself suffering from any of these then please visit your doctor.
- Pain that increases when active, but gets slightly better with rest
- Warmth in joints
- Stiffness in joints when kept still for an extended period of time
- Decreased mobility
- Creaking sound in the bones when moving.
How to Treat
To ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis, there is a good deal of options.
- Exercise – Exercising will strengthen your joints and will help you lose weight. As carrying extra weight is a cause for osteoarthritis, then this is doubly beneficial
- Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs – Glucosamine Sulphate aids the relief of symptoms in mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee
- Injections of corticosteroids
- Braces – There are two types of braces that can help with the symptoms of osteoarthritis. ‘Unloader’ braces help take the pressure of weight off the joint. Support braces add extra support to the affected joint
- Therapy – Professional physiotherapists can offer training and advice
- Surgery – In severe cases, doctors may suggest surgery. The options would be arthroscopy, osteotomy, and arthroplasty.
Unfortunately, some people can’t help getting the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but as you can see, there are many ways to help treat it. Also by keeping up with a healthy lifestyle you can give yourself a better chance at avoiding osteoarthritis.