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As the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects millions of people all around the world. It happens when the protective cartilage at the end of the bone wears down with time and age. Although the disease can damage any joint in a person’s body, it most often affects the hands, hips, knees and spine. This condition will gradually worsen with time and no cure currently exists. However, there have been some recent advances in treatment that could make a real difference in the overall quality of life a person has.
Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis
The symptoms of osteoarthritis often happen slowly and get worse with time and progression.
- Pain: There could be pain in the joints that could hurt during or after movement.
- Tenderness: Feelings of tenderness in the joint are possible, if light pressure is applied.
- Stiffness: A person may have stiff joints that are more noticeable when first waking up in the morning or after a period of being inactive or sedentary.
- Loss of flexibility: A person may not have full range of motion and could be limited on how the joint or joints will move.
- Grafting sensation: It’s possible a person may hear or feel a grafting sensation when using the joint.
- Bone spurs: Bone spurs are extra pieces of bone that feel like hard lumps and these can form around the affected joint.
Osteoarthritis happens when cartilage at the ends of the bones in the joints gradually wears down and deteriorates. Cartilage is a firm, slippery type of tissue that aids in ease of joint movement. With osteoarthritis, the slippery surface of the joints wears down completely and it can cause bones to rub against one another.
Risk Factors You Should Know About
There are a number of risk factors associated with osteoarthritis and these include:
- Older age: A person’s risk of osteoarthritis increases with age.
- Obesity: When a person carries extra body weight it can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. Being overweight or obese puts extra weight on joints in the knees and hips. Additionally, fatty tissue makes proteins that can result in harmful inflammation in and around the joints.
- Gender: Females are more likely than males to develop osteoarthritis, but exactly why it happens is unknown.
- Joint injuries: Injuries that occur during someone’s lifetime could increase the risks of osteoarthritis.
- Certain occupations: If a person’s job includes duties that place repetitive stress on the joints, it could lead to the development of osteoarthritis.
- Genetics: Some people have an inherited tendency towards the disease.
- Bone deformities: People who are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage can have a higher than average risk of the condition.
- Other diseases: Suffering from rheumatic diseases or diabetes could increase a person’s chances of developing osteoarthritis.
When a person visits the doctor to be checked for osteoarthritis, there are a number of things that may be done. Your doctor could check your joints for inflammation, redness, and/or tenderness, as well as range of motion in the area. A physician may also wish to order some imaging scans and laboratory tests.