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Information on Osteoarthritis:
Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

“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:

  • mild to severe pain in a joint, especially after overuse or long periods of inactivity, such as sitting for a long time
  • creaking or grating sound in the joint
  • swelling, stiffness, limited movement of the joint, especially in the mornings
  • weakness in muscles around the sore joint from lack of use
  • deformity of the joint.

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.”


Osteoarthritis Treatment
Osteoarthritis cannot be cured, but it can be treated. Beginning treatment as early as possible can help reduce long-term damage to your joints and bones. The goal of every treatment for arthritis is to reduce pain and stiffness, allow for greater movement, and slow the progression of the disease. Newer and more effective treatments for osteoarthritis continue to be developed. But beware of extravagant claims for any arthritis treatment because many have not been proven scientifically to be effective. Avoid any treatment that claims to cure arthritis. Read more…

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