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Information on Osteoarthritis:
“Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is the result of wear and tear of the cartilage surfaces inside a joint causing pain, stiffness and swelling. The wearing out of the joint tends to occur gradually with advancing years,” says Dr. Steve Carroll in his book The Which? Guide to Men’s Health.
The disease normally affects the feet, knees, lower back, hips, and fingers. Usually only one or maybe a few joints are affected at one time.
Although some younger people get osteoarthritis from a joint injury, it most often occurs in people over 45. Since the number of older people is increasing, so is the incidence rate. Before the age of 45, more men have the condition, often the result of a sports or work injury, while after 45 osteoarthritis is more common in women.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
Factors which increase the risk of osteoarthritis include being overweight, overuse of a joint playing a particular sport, or a serious or recurrent injury to a joint when younger.
“There is no cure for osteoarthritis,” says Dr. Carroll, “but symptoms can usually be controlled with painrelievers, or anti-inflammatory drugs taken by mouth or applied to the affected joints as a gel. A doctor or physiotherapist may be able to recommend exercises to strengthen the muscles around an arthritic joint, which should also help to protect the joint against further damage.
“In severe cases, where the arthritic joint has become very painful or stiff, sufferers may be referred to hospital for a joint-replacement operation.”
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