Osteoarthritis is a kind of arthritis that is very common and affects millions of people around the world. When the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones breaks down over time, it causes this condition. Although osteoarthritis can affect any joint, it is most typically seen in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. Although the damage to joints cannot be undone, the symptoms of osteoarthritis can typically be treated. Staying active, eating a nutritious diet, and receiving some treatments may help reduce disease development and improve pain and joint function.
Osteoarthritis symptoms typically appear gradually and worsen over time. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis:
It is possible that the affected joints will pain during or after movement.
Joint stiffness may be more obvious when you first wake up or after a period of inactivity.
When you apply light pressure to or near your joint, it may become tender.
It's possible that you won't be able to move your joint completely across its range of motion.
The sense of grating
When you use the joint, you may notice a grating sensation and hear popping or cracking.
These extra fragments of bone might grow around the afflicted joint and feel like hard lumps.
This could be due to inflammation of the soft tissues around the joint.
When to see a doctor?
When you notice stiffness in the joints and the pain that is too severe and continues for a long period of time, then immediately see a doctor.
Get the best treatment for Osteoarthritis from the top Rheumatologists and Orthopedic surgeons at Medicover Hospitals.
Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage cushions the ends of bones in joints deteriorates over time. Cartilage becomes firm, slick tissue that allows for practically frictionless joint movement.
If the cartilage is fully worn down, the bone will rub against the bone. Osteoarthritis is sometimes referred to as a wear-and-tear condition. However, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint, not only the cartilage. It causes bone alterations and the connective tissues that hold the joint together and connect muscle to bone to deteriorate. Inflammation of the joint lining is also a side effect.
The following are some of the factors that can raise your risk of osteoarthritis:
Osteoarthritis becomes more common as people get older.
Women are more prone than men to get osteoarthritis, while the reason for this is unknown.
Osteoarthritis is exacerbated by excess body weight in various ways, and the more you weigh, the higher your risk. Weight gain puts strain on weight-bearing joints like your hips and knees. Fat tissue also creates proteins that can cause severe inflammation in and around joints.
Injuries to the joints
Osteoarthritis can be exacerbated by injuries sustained while participating in sports or as a result of an accident. Even injuries that appear to have healed many years ago can put you at risk for osteoarthritis.
Stress on the joint on a regular basis
If your profession or an activity you participate in puts repetitive stress on a joint, that joint may develop osteoarthritis over time.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that some people inherit.
Deformities of the bones
Some people are born with faulty cartilage or deformed joints.
Some metabolic disorders
Diabetes and an overabundance of iron in the body are two examples (hemochromatosis).
During the physical exam, your doctor will look for soreness, edema, redness, and flexibility in the afflicted joint. Following are tests for diagnosis
Cartilage loss is shown by a narrowing of the area between the bones in your joint, which is not visible in X-ray pictures. Bone spurs around a joint can also be seen on an X-ray.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
An MRI produces comprehensive images of bone and soft tissues, including cartilage, using radio waves and a strong magnetic field. An MRI isn't always required to diagnose osteoarthritis, although it can provide additional information in some circumstances.
Although no blood test exists to diagnose osteoarthritis, certain tests can help rule out other causes of joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Fluid analysis of the joints
A needle may be used by your doctor to collect fluid from an inflamed joint. The fluid is then examined for inflammation to see if your discomfort is due to gout or infection instead of osteoarthritis.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis
For treating and managing osteoarthritis medicines and therapies are prescribed and when these two methods do not lead to betterment then surgery is suggested.
For treating Osteoarthritis medications are prescribed such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, various brands) for mild to moderate osteoarthritis pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) for inflammation, and duloxetine for chronic pain.
is a type of treatment in which a physical therapist will prescribe some exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints, promote flexibility, and lessen pain. Regular mild exercise, such as swimming or walking, will promote easy movement.
is a term used to describe a type of treatment where an occupational therapist will assist in figuring out how to perform regular tasks without aggravating already painful joint. If you have osteoarthritis in your hands, for example, a toothbrush with a large handle may make cleaning your teeth simpler. If you have knee osteoarthritis, a bench in the shower could assist ease the strain of standing.
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
is a type of electrical nerve stimulation that is used to treat pain, a low-voltage electrical current is used. Some people with knee and hip problems find it helpful in the short term.
Surgery and Procedures
If medications and conservative therapy are ineffective, then the doctor will prescribe some surgeries like
This injection is given into the joint that may reduce discomfort for a few weeks. Your doctor numbs the region around the joint before injecting medication through a needle into the joint space. Because cortisone injections can increase joint degeneration over time, the number of shots you can get each year is usually limited to three or four.
Injections of lubricant
Hyaluronic acid injections may help reduce discomfort by providing cushioning in the knee. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally found in joint fluid.
Realignment of bones
An osteotomy may be beneficial if osteoarthritis has injured one side of your knee more than the other. A surgeon performs a knee osteotomy by making an incision through the bone above or below the knee and then removing or adding a wedge of bone. Your body weight is shifted away from the worn-out area of your knee as a result of this.
It is a procedure that involves replacing a joint. A surgeon will remove the damaged joint surfaces and replace them with plastic and metal pieces during joint replacement surgery. Infections and blood clots are two surgical hazards. Artificial joints can wear out or become loose over time, necessitating replacement.
Lifestyle changes and self-care
Making some lifestyle changes will ease your pain and help in managing osteoarthritis. Follow these tips -
Knee Joint-Friendly Exercise
Do some exercises regularly that provide endurance and strengthen the muscles and joints.
Being overweight has more chances of getting osteoarthritis. Try maintaining a healthy body weight and body mass index.
Heat and cold compression
Use hot water and cold water for compression in the pain areas, it will reduce the pain and swelling.
These can assist in alleviating pressure and stress on the joints. Walking with a cane or walker relieves pressure on your knee or hip. Hold the cane in the hand that is opposite the leg that is bothering you.
Dos and Don’ts
A person with Osteoarthritis has to follow sets of do’s and don’ts to manage pain and related symptoms. Following these tips will help in decreasing complications -
|Some regular knee and joint-friendly exercises.||Do some high-intensity exercises that might harm the joints.|
|Maintain healthy body weight and body mass index.||Stop taking medications.|
|Wear comfortable shoes.||Ignore it if symptoms start worsening.|
|Use assistive equipment for walking.||Smoke as it causes cartilage loss and results in more pain.|
|Take medications as prescribed.||Put too much stress or body weight on the affected joint.|
Precautions and self-care will help you fight this condition positively and improve your quality of life.
Osteoarthritis Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who are experienced in providing excellent healthcare services to the patients with compassion and care. Our diagnostic department is equipped with modern technology and equipment to conduct the tests required for the diagnosis. We have an excellent team of top Rheumatologists, orthopedic doctors, orthopedic surgeons and pain management specialists who diagnose and treat this condition with utmost precision that brings successful treatment outcomes.