“Do you suffer from Osteoarthritis? Here’s how to tell!”
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). This type of arthritis is commonly referred to as wear and tear arthritis or degenerative arthritis.”
While this condition probably begins in the early teen years, it does not become symptomatic until a person reaches their 40’s.
Osteoarthritis affects cartilage, the slippery elastic tissue that covers the ends of long bones. Cartilage functions to absorb shock from movement and also to provide a gliding surface for the joints. With OA, the cartilage begins to wear away and the underlying bones begin to rub against each other. This leads to pain. As OS progresses, it causes swelling and loss of motion. Bone spurs develop and the joint starts to deform. Microscopic particles of cartilage and bone flake off and cause irritation of the joint lining leading to more inflammation which leads to pain and more damage.
Symptoms of OA include pain or stiffness in a joint particularly after getting out of bed or after sitting for a prolonged period of time. Some people have “flares” of their symptoms with weather changes. Stiffness and pain in the joints with movement may occur as may “crunchiness”.
Some people report no symptoms. One study done at the National Institutes of Health showed that one third of patients with osteoarthritis on x-ray had no symptoms.
While any joint may be affected, the most common areas of involvement are weight-bearing parts of the skeleton such as the neck, low back, hips, and knees. The great toe and the base of the thumb are also common locations. In older women the last row of finger joints and the next to last row of finger joints may be affected. Less common sites are the shoulders, elbows, ankles, and jaws.
Many factors including the way people use their joints. Occupational experiences also play a role. For instance, miners and dockworkers may develop knee OA while farmers have a higher incidence of OA of the hip. Ballet dancers can also develop OA in the feet, ankles, and hips. Athletes also fall into a high risk category with women soccer players being more likely to develop knee OA as a result of prior injury. Other athletic activities which cause joint trauma also can be a trigger for the development of OA.
Obesity is a major risk factor for OA of the hips and knees. The famous Framingham study showed that obese women had the most severe OA.
People with other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout are at increased risk for developing OA also.
Probably the most significant risk factor is genetic. Patients with a strong family history of OA are at high risk themselves for developing OA. This is most likely a result of defects in cartilage metabolism which hastens wear and tear.
Dr. Wei (pronounced “way”) is a board-certified rheumatologist and Clinical Director of the nationally respected Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Maryland. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and has served as a consultant to the Arthritis Branch of the National Institutes of Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians. For more information on arthritis and related conditions, go to: http://www.arthritis-treatment-and-relief.com
Who Else Wants General Information on Arthritis? - Today there are about 70 million Americans with arthritis…that’s one person out of every four who suffer both pain and the expense of this crippling disease. In one year alone, arthritis will be responsible for over half a billion dollars in lost ...
“Ooohhh… my aching knee!!!” Insider Secrets on How You Can Get Relief Quickly and Easily! - When your knee hurts, getting relief is all that’s on your mind. Getting the right relief, though, depends on knowing what’s wrong. The correct diagnosis will lead to the correct treatment. Know Your Knee! The knee is the largest joint ...
“So… Which One Do I Use Doctor… Heat or Ice? - Heat has long been used to provide temporary relief of arthritis pain, and is used in many different forms. Contrast baths, whirlpools, electric pads, microwaveable gel packs, hydrocollator packs, infrared lamps, and hot showers are some of the di ...
Cure Your Arthritis - My Amazing Mom - My Amazing Mother – “The Arthritis Lady” From the age of 11 to age 53 my mother avoided holding hands; they were painful to the touch, so puffed up, sore and hot!!! Raising four children she, of course, had to hold our hands. She tried ...
The Arthritis-Hypnosis Connection - Did you know that we all have the ability to enhance self-healing, increase comfort and improve nutrition, exercise, communication and flexibility? This article explains clinical hypnosis and how it can bring relief to clients suffering from arthriti ...
For a Complete list of Articles with summaries Click Here