Osteoarthritis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is also known as degenerative joint disease. In this form of arthritis, the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones that link on the joint wears away, exposing the bone and causing pain. This condition may also include a decrease in the amount of joint fluid, called synovial fluid, that cushions the joint, as well as changes in the ligaments and muscles that support the joint.
What is Primary Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis in its primary stage doesn't have directly identifiable cause but is often posited as one of those diseases associated with aging. Scientific research shows that chances for osteoarthritis become higher together ages. This is because as one ages, water accumulates in the joints thereby affecting cartilage protein structure. As a result, cartilages in joints degenerate till ultimately they become brittle and breakdown.
Osteoarthritis - Cause
Excess weight puts extra strain on the joints, particularly the large weight-bearing joints, such as the knees, hips, and balls of the feet. Experts estimate that every 1 lb (0.5 kg) of body weight means at least 3 lb (1.4 kg) of stress in the knee joint, and even more at the hip joint. Research has shown that weight loss can decrease the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis or the chances of developing those symptoms.
Osteoarthritis is caused by two main reasons: 1) Trauma to the joints and/or 2) a predominantly alkaline body chemistry. If you were to sustain a trauma to a given joint and that entire body part sustained misalignment and damage; eventually that joint will wear out if specific measures are not taken.
Associated diseases: the presence of other associated diseases, infections, diabetes, and various other forms of circulating arthritis, such as rheumatoid joint disease or gout
Genetics: having a genealogy and family history of osteoarthritis or even congenital defects of important joints, spine, or leg abnormalities
Joint pain in rainy weather.
Deep aching joint pain that will get worse after exercise or putting weight onto it and is relieved through rest
Bony Enlargements and Osteophyte Formation
Crepitus (crackling, grinding noise with movement)
Joint Effusion (Swelling)
- Osteoarthritis is often able to be diagnosed by its characteristic symptoms of pain, decreased movement and/or deformity.
- Osteoarthritis can be confirmed with an x-ray.
- Common x-ray findings include narrowing of the joint space among bones, a loss of cartilage and also bone spurs or bone growths.
Blood tests may be used in order to exclude other possible disorders but they can not diagnose osteoarthritis.
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Treatment for Osteoarthritis
Acetaminophen (Tylenol): has been shown to be as effective as nonsteroidal medication for the pain of knee osteoarthritis. People should keep their dose of acetaminophen to under 2000 mg a day as higher doses could cause kidney disease.
Although there is little evidence for the effectiveness of complementary therapies in treating osteoarthritis, 60 percent of people with all forms of arthritis purchased or are using one type or another. If you have severe side-effects as a result of treatment, you may find acupuncture or reflexology helpful in relieving pain.