What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of joint disease that is caused by aging joints, injury, and obesity. It is usually referred to as “wear and tear” of the joints, but now it is scientifically researched that it is a disease affecting the entire joint, including the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments, and bone.
It results from the breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone. The most common symptoms know are joint pain and stiffness. The most commonly involved joints are those near the end of the fingers, the base of the thumb, neck, lower back, knee, and hips.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is believed to be caused by mechanical stress on the joints and low-grade inflammatory processes. It develops once cartilage is lost and the underlying bone becomes affected. It may cause gross cartilage loss and morphological damage to joint tissues, more subtle biochemical changes occur in the earliest stages of OA progression.
It usually happens gradually over time. Some risk factors that might lead to it include:
- Being overweight
- Getting older
- Joint injury
- Joints that are not formed properly
- A genetic defect in joint cartilage
- Stress on the joints owing to certain jobs and playing sports.
Types of Osteoarthritis
Arthritis Types: Includes a variety of inflammatory and noninflammatory joint diseases gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Hip: Osteoarthritis of the hip, sometimes pain appears in different locations, including the groin, thigh, buttocks, or knee. The pain would be stabbing and sharp or it could be a dull ache, and the hip is often stiff.
Foot and Ankle: Each foot has 28 bones and more than 30 joints. The following are the most common foot joints affected by osteoarthritis:
- The three joints of the foot that involve the heel bone, the inner mid-foot bone, and the outer mid-foot bone
- The joint of the big toe and foot bone
- The joint where the ankle and shinbone meet
Osteoarthritis of the Knee: The usual reason behind osteoarthritis of the knee is age. Almost everyone will eventually develop some degree of osteoarthritis. However, several factors increase the risk of developing significant arthritis at an earlier age such as weight, heredity, gender, repetitive stress injuries, athletics, and other illnesses.
Hand: Osteoarthritis of the hand more frequently in certain spots like the base of the thumb, at the end of the finger closest to the nail and middle of the finger.
Spinal: Osteoarthritis of spinal happens once people get older. Younger people may get it from one of the several causes such as injury or trauma to a joint or a genetic defect involving cartilage
Shoulder: Osteoarthritis of Shoulder most often occurs in people who are over age 50. In younger people, it could be a result of an injury or trauma, such as a fractured or dislocated shoulder.
Cervical: It is a condition that involves changes to the bones, discs, and joints of the neck.
Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Some of the Signs and symptoms of are given below:
- Excess pain in joints while moving.
- Affected joint feel tender when applied with little pressure.
- The stiffness of joint is most noticeable after morning wakeup or after a period of inactivity.
- Loss of flexibility as the affected joint may not be able to move through its full range of motion.
- Grating sensation with the affected joint while moving.
- Bone spurs are extra bits of bone, feels like hard lumps and form around the affected joint.
This is a chronic disease. There is no cure, but treatments are available to manage the symptoms. Long-term management of the disease would include several factors:
- Managing symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Improving joint mobility and flexibility
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting enough of exercise