What is Osteoarthritis?
Affecting about 27 million people in the US and 630 million worlwide, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is also known as osteoarthrosis, degenerative arthritis and degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis affects only joints causing cartilage surrounding joints to wear down. This disease is characterized by joint pain, stiffness and reduced mobility. It does not affect organs unlike rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is progressive - however it can be managed by conventional and alternative therapies.
Who can get affected by Osteoarthritis?
Women are more likely to get OA than men. While it was earlier assumed to be a disease that comes with aging, osteoarthritis can affect people as young as 25 usually as a result of joint injury or obesity. It generally affects those over 40
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
- There is pain during activity that goes away while resting
- Joints get stiff when getting up from bed in the morning or after sitting for a long time
- Crepitus or crunching of bone against bone.
- Small spurs grow on joint edges
- Swelling in joints
What causes osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis generally affects hands, knees, hips and the spine. Some of the main causes are considered to be:
- Joint injury
- Genetic issues
- Joints that are malformed
- Jobs that require repetitive movements
How is osteoarthritis diagnosed?
Your physician will ask about your symptoms and do a physical examination including checking for range of motion.
Next laboratory tests such as joint aspiration, x-rays and an MRI may be performed.