What is Osteoarthritis?
Article by Sam Moyle
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is often referred to as degenerative arthritis.
Basically, everyday wear and tear damage your joints. The joints show signs of wear: joint cartilage becomes thin, extra bony spurs grow in response to joint stress, and joint motion lessens. In advanced stages, osteoarthritis can be painful, functionally limiting and depressing.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. But the good news is that there are some better ways to manage your osteoarthritis and slow the degeneration process. This will result in making your life easier and more comfortable. Physiotherapy is a very important part of making your life living with osteoarthritis less painful, comfier and keeping you active.
Physiotherapy has been shown by research to reduce the pain and disability associated with arthritis, especially knee osteoarthritis.
Seek the professional and helpful advice of your physiotherapist to start enjoying life again today!
Your Osteoarthritis Diagnosis
X-rays are the simplest test to confirm osteoarthritis. An experienced practitioner will have very good idea of whether you have osteoarthritis when they examine you.
How Does Osteoarthritis Affect Older People?
As you age, most people develop some degree of osteoarthritis. Wear and tear of our joints may occur due to ageing, injury, prolonged microtrauma, overuse of joints, or excess weight. Permanent bony changes occur and will exist even when there are no painful symptoms.
Your degree of suffering varies. Where as some people may be symptom-free others may suffer continuous disabling pain. The most common is mild or intermittent pain provoked by episodes of increased use or minor trauma.
The joints most commonly affected are the weight bearing joints: hip, knee, ankles, feet and spine. However, osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body and is common in the hands and shoulders. Severe cases may require surgical treatment but most will respond very well to physiotherapy and medication prescribed by your doctor.
You can suspect osteoarthritis if you experience one of more of the following symptoms:
- joint pain or tenderness that intermittently returns
- stiffness, particularly early morning stiffness
- joint swelling or deformity
- obvious joint heat and redness
- joint movement is difficult.
We're here to help you...
For advice on your osteoarthritis diagnosis, self-help tips or the best management of your osteoarthritis, please conatct your physiotherapist or health care professional.
Osteoarthritis Related Conditions
General Arthritis Information
Rheumatoid Conditions - Overview
Osteoarthritis - Overview
Osteoarthritis Treatment Options
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