When the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones deteriorates over time, it can lead to Osteoarthritis (OA), a type of joint disease. Though it can affect any joint in the body, it most frequently affects the hands, hips, and knees. It is the most prevalent type of arthritis. The severity of OA symptoms, which include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the afflicted joint, can vary greatly from person to person.
It may be challenging to walk around and carry out daily duties due to the discomfort, edema, and stiffness that are typical of this condition. OA can be so severe that it is impossible for a person to carry on working or engaging in daily activities. It is the most common form of Arthritis,
The likelihood of having OA can be influenced by a number of variables. A fracture or torn ligament from a prior joint injury may enhance the likelihood of later acquiring the disorder. OA risk can also be increased by abnormal joint or limb development, such as having legs that are different lengths or misaligned joints.
A person’s risk can also rise as a result of inherited factors, such as having a family history of the disease. In addition to these, there are other risk factors for OA, such as being overweight or obese, engaging in repetitive motions in specific jobs or hobbies, and growing older (OA is more common in people over the age of 50).
A healthcare professional would often do a physical examination to diagnose OA and inquire about the patient’s medical history and symptoms. Additionally, they could request imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs to confirm the diagnosis and aid in visualizing the injured joint.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) created a set of standards for determining the presence of hand osteoarthritis in 1990. (OA). Data from a multi-center study, a form of research study that is carried out at various sites, served as the basis for the criteria (usually hospitals or clinics). Based on the presence of swelling and expansion of hard tissue in a few hand joints, the ACR criteria for diagnosing hand OA. Healthcare professionals utilize these factors to diagnose OA in their patients.
Similar to the diagnosis of OA in the hand, OA in the hip and knee can be determined. Typically, a healthcare professional will examine the patient physically and inquire about their symptoms and medical history. Additionally, they could request imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs to confirm the diagnosis and aid in visualizing the injured joint.
The ACR has also produced standards for OA in the hip and knee diagnosis. These requirements are predicated on the presence of specific symptoms and indicators as well as the outcomes of imaging examinations. These criteria are applied by healthcare professionals to assist in diagnosing OA in their patients, much like the criteria for hand OA.
Although OA is a degenerative disorder that often becomes worse with time, there are treatments that can help manage the pain and other symptoms of the condition.
OA treatment aims to lessen discomfort, enhance joint performance, and preserve the strength of the muscles around the joint. This can make it possible for those who have the disease to work and engage in their regular activities for as long as possible.
Numerous supplements are regarded to be advantageous for those who have OA. It’s crucial to remember, though, that there isn’t always proof of these supplements’ efficacy in the scientific community. Some people use the following supplements to treat the signs and symptoms of OA:
- Glucosamine: A is a naturally occurring substance, glucosamine, that is present in the connective tissues of the body. According to several research, persons with OA may experience less discomfort and better joint function while using glucosamine supplements.
- Chondroitin: The connective tissues of the body contain chondroitin, another natural substance. Similar to glucosamine, chondroitin may help OA sufferers feel less discomfort and have better joint function.
- S-adenosylmethionine: S-adenosylmethionine, also known as SAMe, is a substance that the body naturally produces. Some individuals with OA take SAMe pills to assist control their symptoms because it is known to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of good fat that can be found in fatty fish, nuts, and seeds, among other foods. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for persons with OA since they are known to have anti-inflammatory characteristics.
The usefulness of these supplements varies from person to person, and there isn’t always enough solid scientific data to justify their use. Some people could discover that one of these supplements works better than the others to control their symptoms, while others might not find any of them to be beneficial.
Before beginning a new supplement regimen, it is important to speak with a medical professional. It’s crucial to exercise caution when taking supplements because some of them may interact negatively with drugs or have other unwanted effects.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs): Ibuprofen or naproxen, can be used to treat pain and inflammation. Aside from these drugs, acetaminophen and opioids can also be used to treat pain.
- Physical therapy: An individual with OA can learn exercises from a physical therapist to help strengthen the muscles surrounding the afflicted joint and improve joint function.
- Assistive devices: Use of a cane, walker, or other assistive device can lessen pain and help take some of the weight off of an injured joint.
- Weight loss: Losing weight can help ease OA symptoms and lessen stress on weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees.
- Surgery: To replace or repair the damaged joint in severe cases of OA, surgery may be required.
OA is a degenerative joint condition brought on by the wear and tear on the joints over time. It is not the same as rheumatoid arthritis. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system assaults the joints, inflaming and harming them.
People can take measures to lessen their chance of having OA. Keeping a healthy weight, exercising frequently, and refraining from actions that place an excessive amount of strain on the joints can all help lower the risk of developing OA.
OA is a prevalent cause of impairment and, in extreme cases, can result in excruciating pain and paralysis. People with OA should collaborate with their healthcare physician to create a treatment plan that aids in symptom management and upholds an active and healthy lifestyle.
- Arthritis Foundation: The Arthritis Foundation is a nonprofit organization that offers guidance and assistance to persons with various forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis (OA). A plethora of knowledge about OA is available on the organization’s website, including details on therapies, self-management techniques, and research.
- Mayo Clinic: The Mayo Clinic is a reputable medical facility with an extensive website that provides details about OA and other health issues. The website offers advice for managing the condition as well as details on the causes, signs, and therapies of OA.
- WebMD: WebMD is a well-known website that offers details on a variety of health issues, including OA. The website offers interactive tools and information to assist patients manage the condition along with articles regarding the causes, signs, and treatment of OA.
When looking for health information online, it is wise to exercise caution because not all sources can be trusted. For precise and current information regarding your health, it is crucial to speak with a healthcare professional.