OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that occurs when the smooth cushioning between the bones (cartilage) breaks down. This causes the joints to become painful, swollen and difficult to move. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it often occurs in the hands, knees, hips, lower back and neck. This condition gradually worsens over time. However, there are many ways to manage osteoarthritis to treat or minimize pain.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis:
Osteoarthritis symptoms often build over time and can include:
- Pain or aching joints
- Joint stiffness
- Loss of flexibility
- Muscle weakness around the joint
Causes of Osteoarthritis:
Osteoarthritis is often referred to as a “wear and tear” disease since the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the joints gradually deteriorates with age. Eventually, the cartilage can wear down completely, resulting in bone rubbing against bone. Common risk factors for osteoarthritis include:
- Older age
- Joint injuries
- Repeated stress on the joint
Treatment for Osteoarthritis:
There is no cure for osteoarthritis. However, treatments can help reduce pain, allowing one to move better. Treatment options may include:
- Lifestyle changes – Exercise, such as strengthening exercises and range-of-motion exercise or stretching.
- Medications – NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), acetaminophen, and corticosteroids.
- Systemic medications – Biologic therapy, such as PRP therapy.