Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of Osteoarthritis : What Is Osteoarthritis?

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is wear and tear of a joint. It occurs mainly in the neck, lower back, knees, hips and the thumb and fingers. But it can also occur in other joints. It is normal in older people. Over 75 years even almost everyone has osteoarthritis. But it also occurs in younger people.

A joint connects two bones together. On the ends of the bones is a layer of cartilage, so that the bones do not touch each other. This is a kind of shock absorber. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage layer thinner than normal.

If the cartilage is very thin, the bones on each other go barns. At the edge of the bones forming than pointed, bony outgrowths.
Because of these problems, it does joint pain.

The joint may also ignite. There is then a lot of fluid in the joint and the joint is hot, thick and stiff.

The cause of osteoarthritis is not fully known. People who are overweight or hereditary predisposition get there previously experienced. Also, heavy physical work and sport can give osteoarthritis.

 Osteoarthritis is wear and tear of a joint Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of Osteoarthritis : What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis symptoms

By osteoarthritis will get pain and stiffness in the joint. The pain is usually still in the early light, but may be worse in the course of the years. You will feel pain for example if you wear something heavy or walk quite a distance. The pain is at its worst when you move after you have been sitting or lying quietly. That hot start pain: it hurts when you get moving. Early in the morning upon rising, this is the worst.

You may also experience stiffness. The joint feels stiff especially if you have a time sitting or lying down and then starts moving again.

Some people with osteoarthritis often hear cracking their knuckles. Furthermore, there may be an inflammation in a joint with osteoarthritis. Sometimes shoot a small piece of loose cartilage. That gives irritation. The joint pain and then does is warm and swollen.

You could obviously have to not notice osteoarthritis. Some people have arthritis, but no pain or stiffness. It is not clear why they do not suffer from it, and others do.

What causes osteoarthritis?

It is not yet clear how does osteoarthritis. It is certain that various things to play a role.
  1. Genetic predisposition. Some people do not naturally have such strong cartilage. That "runs in the family."
  2. Overload. People who do heavy physical work, more likely to have osteoarthritis. Athletes straining their joints sometimes so heavy that they wear out faster than normal.
  3. Overweight. Are too fat is a big strain on the joints. As a result, can develop osteoarthritis.
  4. Poor tendons and ligaments. Joints, tendons and ligaments together bear the weight of your body. Sometimes, the tendons and ligaments do less well, for example, in a sports injury. The joint should carry more weight. That can give osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs not by cold or damp weather. You can still have more pain and stiffness when it is cold or damp. As far as known diet plays no role in the development of osteoarthritis.

How does the doctor determine osteoarthritis?

The doctor will ask you what symptoms you have exactly. She looks at the joint that hurts and feels as if there is fluid around the joint. She also asked if arthritis occurs in your family.

Osteoarthritis can not be seen on x-rays or blood. Nevertheless, let your doctor x-rays and conduct blood tests. They do this to see if you have an illness that resembles osteoarthritis, such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

The doctor can diagnose or refer you to a rheumatologist.

Osteoarthritis treatment

Osteoarthritis is not about. There is no drug or other treatment to restore the joint. Yet treatment is worthwhile. It can reduce the pain and stiffness. This allows you to move easily, which is also good for your joints.

What are the main treatments for osteoarthritis?
  1. Medications, such as painkillers or anti-inflammatories. You get tablets and / or injections into the joint.
  2. Exercise therapy, such as Cesar therapy and Mensendieck therapy.
  3. A surgery. The doctor can, for example straighten again the joint. They can replace your joint with a plastic joint. This can, for example, in osteoarthritis in knee and hip.

Medicines for osteoarthritis

There are several medications for the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis. Probably the first doctor advises you to take a simple painkiller such as paracetamol. This painkiller gives temporary relief from the pain. So you can move the joint better.

When inflamed joints you get heavier pain relievers: NSAIDs or COX-2 inhibitors. These drugs reduce pain and ease inflammation. You can still suffer from side effects such as upset stomach. There are also pain-relieving creams that you can lubricate the joint. Your doctor can tell you which creams are suitable.

Further, the physician can inject medication into the joint (intra-articular injections). Usually, the doctor for this uses a combination of anesthetic and hormones (corticosteroids). An injection reduces the symptoms of an average of a few months. The arthritis itself is not impaired by.
In osteoarthritis of the knee may give doctors an injection of hyaluronic acid. This means improving the cartilage. You get the injection every three to five weeks and it only helps if the arthritis is still not bad. The drug is very expensive, you have therefore advance permission from your health insurer.

With few symptoms you may not need to use drugs. In severe and persistent symptoms you may need to use daily medication.

Surgery for Osteoarthritis

In the treatment of osteoarthritis may require a surgery. For example if your joint is in a different position or if you have a lot of pain.

In severe damage, the doctor can replace the joint with an artificial joint (prosthesis). This occurs especially in the knees and hips (knee replacement or hip replacement). These operations are often carried out. By surgery, you can use the joint weather much better.

In osteoarthritis sometimes break off small pieces of bone, for example in the knee or the elbow. These pieces of bone called 'mouse'. They remain loose in the joint. They can become trapped upon movement of the joint. The joint is then sit 'locked'. To prevent damage, the doctor may remove the loose pieces.

Exercise therapy for osteoarthritis

In osteoarthritis, it is important to protect your joints as much as possible. This is perhaps easier when joints hurt, then when you feel nothing. Yet it is wise even in periods without pain to protect your joints. An occupational therapist can give you advice about this. In osteoarthritis of the knee or hip, it may be better to walk with a cane.

Osteoarthritis also affects the muscles that move the joint. They are often weaker. It is important to keep in a good condition and to learn a good attitude or keep. The muscles and tendons are then less congested. A physical therapist or exercise therapist can help you.

Many regional rheumatism patients associations organize remedial therapy in heated water and under the guidance of experienced physiotherapists. For the addresses of these regional associations, please contact the Rheumatism Patients Association.

How can you deal with osteoarthritis?

You can own a number of things to do if you have osteoarthritis. The osteoarthritis is not over, but your joints wear out less quickly.
  1. Pay attention to your weight and lose weight if you are overweight.
  2. Eat healthy.
  3. Keep moving: for example, cycling, swimming or hiking. You remain thereby smoothly and in a good condition.
  4. Exercise daily with the sore or stiff joints. A physical-or exercise therapist can give you exercises.
  5. Make sure your home and workplace have the right temperature. Avoid large temperature differences as much as possible.
  6. Protect the joints from cold.
  7. Watch your posture: poor posture is an extra heavy load.
  8. Regularly change of attitude: don't stay too long in the same position sitting, standing or lying down.
  9. Exchange motion and rest.
  10. Avoid climbing stairs, Crouching, crawling and kneeling (if you have osteoarthritis in the knee).
  11. Lift and carry heavy things.
  12. Avoid wringing or twisting with your hands (if you have arthritis in the fingers).
  13. Use tools in time. Do not wait until you no longer can.
  14. Wear comfortable shoes that pinch and not enough support. Thick soles are often pleasant.

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