Osteoarthritis

posted Jul 31, 2019, 9:05 PM by Difference Personal Training   [ updated Jul 31, 2019, 9:07 PM ]

Osteoarthritis


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time.

Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.

In normal joints, a firm, rubbery material called cartilage covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint motion and acts as a cushion between the bones. In OA, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. As OA worsens over time, bones may break down and develop growths called spurs. Bits of bone or cartilage may chip off and float around in the joint.

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Symptoms

·       Pain. Affected joints might hurt during or after movement.

·       Stiffness. Joint stiffness might be most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.

·       Tenderness. Your joint might feel tender when you apply light pressure to or near it.

·       Loss of flexibility. You might not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.

·       Grating sensation. You might feel a grating sensation when you use the joint, and you might hear popping or crackling.

·       Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, can form around the affected joint.

·       Swelling. This might be caused by soft tissue inflammation around the joint.

 

Risk Factors

·       Older age. The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age.

·       Sex. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis

·       Obesity. Carrying extra body weight contributes to osteoarthritis in several ways, and the more you weigh, the greater your risk. Increased weight adds stress to weight-bearing joints

·       Joint injuries. Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, can increase the risk of osteoarthritis

·       Repeated stress on the joint. If your job or a sport you play places repetitive stress on a joint, that joint might eventually develop osteoarthritis.

·       Genetics. Some people inherit a tendency to develop osteoarthritis.

·       Bone deformities. Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage.

·       Certain metabolic diseases. These include diabetes and a condition in which your body has too much iron (hemochromatosis).


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Treatment

While no treatment can reverse the damage of OA, some can help relieve symptoms and maintain mobility in the affected joints.

Physical therapy

Various types of physical therapy may help, including:

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): A TENS unit attaches to the skin with electrodes. Electrical currents then pass from the unit through the skin and overwhelm the nervous system, reducing its ability to transmit pain signals.

Thermotherapy: Heat and cold may help reduce pain and stiffness in the joints. A person could try wrapping a hot water bottle or an ice pack in a towel and placing it on the affected joint.

Manual therapy: This involves a physical therapist using hands-on techniques to help keep the joints flexible and supple.

 

Exercise and weight control:

·      maintaining mobility and range of movement

·       improving strength and muscle tone

·       preventing weight gain

·       building up muscles

·       reducing stress

·       lowering the risk of other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease


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