Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is caused by breakdown of cartilage, with eventual loss of the cartilage of the joints. Causes include aging joints, previous injuries, and obesity, among others. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis may affect any joint, including the hand, wrist, neck, back, knee, and hip.

In Osteoarthritis progressive cartilage degeneration of the knee joints can lead to deformity and outward curvature of the knees referred to as “bow legged.” Patients with osteoarthritis of the weight bearing joints (like the knees) can develop a limp. The limping can worsen as more cartilage degenerates. The symptoms include swelling of the joints, pain and inability to move. In some patients, the pain, limping, and joint dysfunction may not respond to medications or other conservative measures.

Osteoarthritis, also called osteoarthroses or degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the second most common rheumatological problem and is most frequent joint disease with prevalence of 22% to 39% in India. The term ‘arthritic knee’ is very common in our country and its cause is attributed to sitting cross-legged and squatting. The high incidence of osteoarthritis in India is the result of its prevalence among women who fall victim to it. Menopausal women are especially prone to it. The disease is, however, not restricted to women.

There are two kinds Osteoarthritis- primary and secondary. While primary osteoarthritis is a result of old age, secondary osteoarthritis is a result of a disease or an injury which, in turn, leads to it.

Early diagnosis and Osteoarthritis treatment is the key for management of arthritis. Doctor can often diagnose Osteoarthritis  based on your age, your typical symptoms and physical examinations of your affected joints. Tests such as X-rays or blood tests are usually not needed. However, sometimes your doctor may suggest X-rays or other tests if they are uncertain about the diagnosis and want to exclude other problems.

Goals of osteoarthritis treatment include controlling pain, maintaining and improving range of movement and stability of affected joints and limiting functional impairment.

The options for Osteoarthritis treatment comprises of following elements exercise, weight Control, joint protection, physical and occupational therapy and medications. It is important to do the right kind of exercise, which is not only beneficial but also essential for keeping the joints mobile and muscles strong. Many people believe they should rest their arthritic joints to prevent further damage. Prolonged rest can lead to more stiffness and this weakens the muscles. Your doctors may prescribe one (or more) of these drugs: analgesics, Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) or steroids. Analgesics relive pain. NSAIDs and steroids reduce inflammation, which in turn relieve pain in inflammation associated Osteoarthritis. However, these drugs are associated with serious adverse effects if taken for a longer duration. These drugs may cause serious side effects like gastric ulcer, liver damage and kidney damage. The advanced stages of arthritis doctors opt for replacement surgery in case of knee and hip joints. Joint replacement surgery will give relief from pain and correct deformity resulting from arthritis

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