Osteoarthritis, or also called degenerative joint disease (DMD), is perhaps the most common form of degenerative arthritis. Osteoarthritis usually occurs with age, although it can develop at any time. There are two types of osteoarthritis: primary and secondary. In primary osteoarthritis, the cartilage cushioning the bones wears out due to wear and tear, arthritis, or other causes. The symptoms of this disease include a dull ache or stiffness near the affected joint; swelling, warmth, or pain; and limited mobility.
Secondary osteoarthritis occurs when joint pain or stiffness is caused by an injury to the joint. Treatment of this condition involves physical therapy, limited activity, or surgery. There is no known cure for secondary osteoarthritis. Some of the treatments used to relieve pain include oral pain medications, hot or cold packs, ultrasound treatments, or cortisone injections. However, as in the case of primary arthritis, there is no known cure for secondary osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis are the same in all cases of the disease. In general, the main symptom of Osteoarthritis involves chronic soreness, swelling, and limited ability to move the joint. Other symptoms may include limping, loss of muscle tone, increasing fatigue, and severe pain. In some cases, the symptoms do not progress until the disease has progressed to the later stages.
Osteoarthritis commonly affects people in their middle ages or older age group. In addition to the pain and swelling that are seen with symptoms of Osteoarthritis, many people experience difficulty with their mobility because of the stiffness that is associated with it. The stiffness causes many people to be unable to continue a normal lifestyle in the way they are accustomed to. One of the main things that cause this disability is severe pain that interferes with their everyday activities. This pain and limitation can affect the sufferer’s ability to get up in the morning, to go to work, or to care for themselves.
Some of the risk factors of osteoarthritis include weight gain, being obese, and standing for a long period of time. People who are overweight or obese tend to put more pressure on their joints because of the extra weight that they place on them. Being overweight also increases the risk factors for having osteoarthritis because the extra weight makes the cartilage more brittle, increasing the risk of bone inflammation. Bone inflammation increases the risk factors for Osteoarthritis by causing swelling and pain.
Osteoarthritis symptoms can become severe enough to interfere with an individual’s daily life. Some of the treatments used for Osteoarthritis can actually cause the condition to get worse, therefore they are not always the best treatments. However, some treatments may help to alleviate some of the symptoms. Many doctors recommend that patients use NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the stiffness and pain that are associated with Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint of the body, however, there are certain risk factors that are more common in people who have Osteoarthritis than in those who do not. These risk factors include age, which tends to be greater in those who are elderly, which puts extra stress on the bones in the knees. The area of the knee that is affected may also be more susceptible to damage if there is a history of trauma to the knee. Weight is another factor, which puts extra stress on the joint cartilage.
There is not a one-time treatment regimen that is effective for relieving symptoms of Osteoarthritis. For people who suffer from extreme cases, doctors may recommend surgical procedures to repair damaged cartilage in the joints. They may recommend using supports to assist with standing and walking. Patients and their family’s doctor will work together to decide the best course of treatment. Osteoarthritis symptoms can be very difficult to deal with, but there are many treatments available to those who suffer from the disease.