Osteoarthritis (AH-stee-oh-ar-THREYE-tis) is the most common form of arthritis, with rheumatoid arthritis in a distant second. Osteoarthritis (OA) is also known as degenerative joint disease, and it may sometimes be referred to as osteoarthrosis.”
Osteoarthritis is what people generally think of when they think of arthritis, as it commonly affects middle aged to elderly individuals. However, OA can strike almost any age, or it can occur as a result of injury.
Is There a Cure for Arthritis?
At the current time, there is no cure for arthritis.
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
- Swelling of Joints
- Loss of Flexibility
- Pain During Movement
- Bone Spurs
- Discomfort when Standing or Walking
- Difficulty Walking Up and Down Stairs
What Are the Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis?
While there is no cure for arthritis, the following is a list of treatment options to help people better manage their osteoarthritis symptoms.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) , such as: Ibuprofen, and Naproxen
- CO2 Inhibitors – Celebrex
- Natural Alternatives, such as glucosamine and chondroitin supplements
- Arthroscopy – Cleans out Bone and Cartilage Fragments
- Arthoplasty – Joint Replacement
- Vitamin A, B6, C, E, Manganese, MSM, Niacinamide
- Diet and Exercise – To help reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight
What Causes Osteoarthritis Pain?
Osteoarthritis pain is caused by a breakdown in a joint’s cartilage.
Joints consist of bones, with various types of sockets or connections that link one bone end to another. Some bones just slide across each other, while others like the hip joint use a ball and socket.
Between the bone ends there is a protective, slippery layer known as cartilage (KAR-til-uj). Whenever you move a joint, bones rub together with the cartilage padding the between.
For people without arthritis, the job of the cartilage is to protect the bones when they rub against each other by acting as a shock absorber or cushion. Think of it as a thick Teflon® (Teflon® is a registered trademark of DuPont) coating for the joints.
In osteoarthritis, that coating breaks down over time and wears away. When the cartilage is thin or gone, bones can rub directly together, causing pain.
What Are the Results?
While bones can break, most of the time they are very strong and rigid. When they rub together directly on each other, the immediate result is pain, swelling, and a loss of mobility.
If this continues, the ends of the bone may even lose their original shape, causing deformities. Bone spurs (osteophytes) – small growths on the bone that make the surface even less smooth – can grow. Small pieces of bone or cartilage can break off and float around inside the joint, further causing pain and inflammation.
In severe cases of osteoarthritis, you can sometimes even hear the bones making a grinding noise as they rub together. As you can see, osteoarthritis is one of the worst forms of arthritis due to the continual effects it has on people’s joints.
How Can I Tell If I Have Osteoarthritis?
Only your doctor can make an accurate diagnosis of osteoarthritis. However, some warning signs may include:
- Pain in weight bearing joints, such as the knee or hip
- Pain during joint movement
- Swelling of the joints
- Pain in your joints during strenuous activities
- And other symptoms
An X-ray will generally confirm the presence of osteoarthritis. Most people over the age of 60 will have radiographic (x-ray) evidence of the disease. Roughly one third will have active symptoms.
Who Is At Risk for Osteoarthritis?
Anybody over the age of 45 is in the greatest risk range for developing osteoarthritis. Women are slightly more at risk than men, for reasons that we do not fully understand yet.
For additional information on osteoarthritis and ways to naturally treat osteoarthritis, try Flexicose today! Call: (919) 461-0421