Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It’s also known as degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis.
In patients with osteoarthritis, the cartilage within a joint breaks down, causing changes in the underlying bone. Over time, a patient experiences worsening joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Some people are able to function well, while others find it difficult to do daily tasks. Orthopedics Now
The most commonly affected joints include the:
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What is Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is most common in people who are 50 years or older. It’s more common in women than in men. Other risk factors for OA include:
While you may work with a rheumatologist to manage your osteoarthritis, your family physician may be the one to diagnose it by taking your medical history, doing a physical assessment and sending you for blood tests and x-rays.Because there are about 100 different types of osteoarthritis, it can be difficult to distinguish this disease from other forms of arthritis. Blood tests can help rule out other conditions.
The changes in joints caused by osteoarthritis can often be identified in x-ray images.
Depending on the severity of your osteoarthritis, you may experience a range of symptoms. Some people maintain good mobility and flexibility, while others find it difficult to perform daily tasks. The most commonly affected joints are the knees and the hips, although other joints can also be affected, including the base of the big toe or thumb, the end joints or middle joints of fingers or the neck and low back. Local Physiotherapists
For many people, osteoarthritis begins with one or a few joints, and symptoms begin slowly. OA symptoms can include:
When it comes to treating osteoarthritis, the earlier the better, because once a joint is damaged, the damage can’t be reversed. It’s important to keep joints moving in order to stay mobile and decrease joint pain.
In many cases, physicians will use a multimodal approach that combines different treatments to treat osteoarthritis.
In most cases, the medications used for osteoarthritis help control pain. Medications used to treat OA include:
Other osteoarthritis treatments include:
Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health.