Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that affects both men and women. It generally starts affecting the bones after the age of around 40, but it something that develops gradually over time. It causes the joints to become painful and stiff, causing major disability and impairment to movement. Osteoarthritis affects any joint in the body, but it occurs mostly in the joints of hands, feet, hips, knees, and spine. Many people think that osteoarthritis is crippling and worsens over time. In some cases where the wear and tear is chronic, it can be so, but in some cases osteoarthritis settles down as your body heals its self.
There is no permanent cure but there are many new age osteoarthritis treatments and physiotherapy exercises that can help find some relief and reduce the pain and stiffness.
So what exactly happens in Osteoarthritis?
You can compare it to the wear and tear of bones which causes the cartilage at the end of your bones to become thin and rough. When this occurs your body’s defense mechanism makes your bones grow outwards and in a thickened form. These outgrowths are called Osteophytes and this is what makes your joints appear wobbly. Now because a part of your bone is thick and has outgrowths these rub against each other causing inflammation and pain.
What can cause it?
- Being over the age of 40
- If you are a women your chances are higher
- If someone in your family is afflicted with this illness
- If you are overweight.
- If you had an injury or an operation on any of your joints.
- If you have rheumatoid arthritis
- It is essential that you learn what the symptoms for osteoarthritis so that you can start immediate osteoarthritis treatment and help ease the pain and stiffness.
If you have osteoarthritis you could notice a stiffness and pain in your joints. The pain might be more aggravated after exercising. Your joints may creak or make small noises called crepitations.Your joint may appear wobbly and misshapen. You might not feel the same strength or stability in your joints. If your osteoarthritis is severe you may experience pain even when you are resting or are sleeping. Some more specific symptoms are:
You might experience pain in your neck and back. This is also known as spondylosis in which the cartilage between the bones situated in your back that is the vertebrae can become thin which causes the spaces to become narrower. There are then outgrowths from the edges of these joints which cause pain and a sensation of numbness to travel down your arm.
In your hands, at the base of your thumb and the joints of your fingers there could be knobby swellings called Heberden’s Nodes.
In your feet osteoarthritis affects the joint at the base of your big toe which makes it stiff and thus making it difficult to walk.
You might require osteoarthritis treatment in your hip if you have pain in the front of your groin, around the front and side of your thigh, buttock or even down the knees. In cases where it is sever the affected leg may become shorter.
You could also experience pain in the front and back of the knee. If the case is sever then the knees could appear bent and bow legged.