Osteoarthritis: The Most Common Form of Arthritis
Swelling or inflammation of the joints is called arthritis. The primary symptoms of this condition are stiffness and pain in the joints. The joints that are affected are not mobile enough. These symptoms usually get worse as you age. The pain in the joints caused by arthritis can be managed with the help of pain tracker. There are different kinds of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common.
Osteoarthritis is also known as wear and tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Any of the joints or even multiple joints in the body can be affected by the condition. Most commonly, the joints in the knees, hips, and hands are affected. The condition causes the wearing of cartilage gradually over time. It is the cartilage that acts as the layer of cushion between the bones.
Symptoms and Causes
Some of the symptoms commonly associated with osteoarthritis include:
- Ache or pain in the joints
- Stiffness in the joints, particularly after a period of no movement, like after sleeping.
- Swelling and redness
- A general reduced range of motion
All these signs and symptoms are generally associated with the joint. As far as the cause of the condition is concerned, the exact reason is not known. There are chances that osteoarthritis is hereditary, meaning it runs in your family. However, in general, it is related to the joints being prone to wear and tear over the years.
Can it be prevented?
If the condition is hereditary, there is not a lot you can do to prevent it. However, you can still manage the condition and take remedial measures to reduce the pain. You can begin by taking care of your body and limiting the wear and tear to your joints. Using pain tracker is a great way of managing the pain and even reducing it. Here are a few things that might help:
- Avoid overusing any joint or causing too much strain
- Try limiting the activities or tasks that need repetitive movements of joints
- Try to maintain your body weight and stay healthy
- Work out and put particular focus on strength training. These exercises will make the muscles stronger, thus protecting your joints. Strength training is particularly essential for joints that bear a lot of weight, like the knees, ankles, and hips.
Who is prone to getting osteoarthritis?
A few factors can play a role in increasing the risk of osteoarthritis. These include:
- Obesity and excess weight: Too much weight can make the condition worse, particularly in the spine, hips, and knees.
- Injury to the joints: Joints are more prone to osteoarthritis if they are damaged or injured
- Age: In particular, the condition is common among older people. This is because their joints have been used for a longer time, causing the wear and tear.
- Gender: As compared to men, women are more chances of being affected by osteoarthritis. This is particularly the case for people over the age of 50.
- Work: People with jobs that require them to perform a movement repetitively have a greater risk of developing the condition.
If you are experiencing any symptoms related to osteoarthritis, you should visit your doctor. The doctor will examine you and ask the necessary questions regarding the joint paint. You will probably be asked whether the pain improves with rest and worsens with more activity.
The doctor will also check if you have any trouble with the movement of your joint. An X-ray test may be essential for the joint that is showing the symptoms. It gives the doctor a better idea of the cause of the pain. Blood tests may also be required for ruling out other types of arthritis.
Ways of managing and reducing joint pain
There isn’t any particular cure for osteoarthritis. If you have it, the chances are that it will worsen over time. However, you can still make efforts to reduce joint pain and manage the condition. With the correct plan, you can manage physical activities, prevent your joints from being damaged or injured, and control pain.
You can seek the help of a doctor to create the right plan for you. Your plan should ideally consist of a combination of physical activities and medicines to manage the condition. If required, you may even use special support devices like canes and clutches.
When it comes to arthritis, staying active is the key. With pain in the joints, people avoid using the joints much. This results in weakening of the muscles. As a result, the joints are much less effective, and getting around is hard. It ultimately causes more pain, which isn’t ideal. There are ways to stay active and control pain at the same time.
Exercising increases the strength of your muscles, allowing it to stay flexible. It is wise to choose exercises that do not put excessive strain on your joints. You should perform exercises in limited amounts. Incorporate a rest time in between the exercises. Some exercises that can help with osteoarthritis include dancing, swimming, bike riding, and swimming.
Your doctor is likely to prescribe you certain medications for managing your pain. Certain over-the-counter medicines can be taken as well to keep the pain at bay. In particular, anti-inflammatory medicines and pain relievers are helpful with the condition. They help reduce the pain and inflammation in the joints.
You need to be cautious while taking medicines. Only take the amount that you need for controlling the pain. Excessive dosage of certain pain relief medications always come with the risk of adverse side effects.
Sometimes, the condition can be too severe, causing extreme pain, stiffness, and swelling. In that case, medication and exercising are usually enough. You may also have to go for invasive procedures. Your doctor can give a shot in the joint that is causing the problem. There are even surgical options available. Talk to your doctor about the possible treatments if the pain is too severe.