Osteoarthritis occurs whenever the cartilage present in a joint start breaking down and the underlying bone starts changing. These changes mainly develop at a slow rate and become worse with time. Osteoarthritis may cause various problems, like swelling, stiffness, and pain in cartilage and other joints.(1)
What Leads To Osteoarthritis?
There are several factors, which increase the chance of a person developing osteoarthritis. These include the following-
Heredity: A few of the people have inherited type of defect in either of the genes, which causes defective cartilage and results in rapid deterioration in the joints. People, who have joint abnormalities, are likely to develop the problem of osteoarthritis. Especially, people with joint abnormalities of the spine, like the curvature of the spine or scoliosis are likely to develop spine osteoarthritis.
Obesity: Obesity may increase your risk related to osteoarthritis of your hip, knee, and spine. Hence, you should maintain an ideal weight or lose excessive weight to prevent osteoarthritis of such areas or reduce the progression rate after you reach the condition.
Knee And Back Injuries: Injuries contribute to the development of various forms of osteoarthritis. For instance, athletes with knee-related injuries remain at high risk related to the development of knee osteoarthritis. Besides, people with a severe form of the back injury may predispose to develop spine osteoarthritis. Individuals with broken bone across joint/joints remain highly prone to develop osteoarthritis in the joints.
Overuse Of Specific Joints: Overuse of specific joints may increase your risk to develop the problem of osteoarthritis. For instance, individuals in jobs, which need repeated knee-bending activities, remain at high risk to develop knee osteoarthritis.
Other Problems: Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are highly prone to develop the problem of osteoarthritis. Moreover, specific rare health conditions, like excess growth of hormone and overload of iron may increase your chance to develop osteoarthritis.(2)
Can Osteoarthritis Be Cured?
Osteoarthritis does not have any cure but certain medications, assistive devices and nondrug methods may help you to ease the pain.
Medications: Both anti-inflammatory and pain medications for osteoarthritis available in the form of creams, patches, syrups, and pills. Alternatively, doctors may inject such drugs directly in the affected joints. These include analgesics, NSAIDs i.e. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, counter-irritants, hyaluronic acid, plasma rich in platelet, and other drugs.
Exercises: Physical movement is very much essential to accomplish osteoarthritis treatment plan effectively. Any good exercise program to fight with osteoarthritis pain, as well as stiffness, consists of following major parts-
- Motion-range exercise or stretching to allow the movement of joints and to reduce stiffness of joints
- Strengthening exercise to build enough muscles across painful joints and to ease the physical stress
- Cardio or aerobic exercises to improve energy levels and stamina, while to reduce the excessive body weight
- Balance exercise to strengthen small muscles across the ankles and knees to help in preventing slip and fall incidents
However, you should discuss with your doctor before you should start any new type of exercise.
Assistive Devices And Physical Therapies: You may approach qualified physical therapists, chiropractors and occupational therapists to undergo either of the following-
- Exercises to ease pain and stabilize the joints
- Adopt natural products and treatment procedures to ease your pain
- Instructions to protect your joints and to make easy movements
- Use of shoe inserts, braces, and related assistive devices
Weight Loss: Overweight condition or accumulation of extra body fat puts huge stress on your back, feet, knees, and hips. In this situation, you should follow certain weight loss plans to reduce your pain and reduce or stop your joint damage.(3)
You may suffer from osteoarthritis because of multiple reasons, like genetics, obesity, health issues, overuse and injury of certain joints, and many more. Also, osteoarthritis is incurable. Instead, you may manage your condition with medications, exercises, assistive devices, and physical therapies.
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- What is Thumb Arthritis & How is it Treated?: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis of Thumb Arthritis
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