Osteoarthritis

WHAT IS OSTEOARTHRITIS?

Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as osteoarthrosis, degenerative arthritis, or degenerative joint disease is a type of joint disease that leads to the breaking done of underlying bone and joint cartilage (responsible for the smooth gliding and motion of joints).

 

Once this cartilage begins to deteriorate due to age, injuries and other factors, the patient experiences huge amounts of pain, join inflammation, muscle swelling, and even deformity. The most commonly involved joints in Osteoarthritis are the hips, knees, lower back, neck and near ends of the fingers.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF OSTEOARTHRITIS?

Osteoarthritis symptoms develop gradually and worsen over the course of time. Initially, the most common symptoms patients experience is joint pain and stiffness. This results in pain during or after movement, and numbness (noticeable after a period of inactivity or when you wake up in the morning).

 

Other symptoms may include swelling of joints and decreased range of motion. Patients may feel a grating sensation when using the joint. When the back is affected, Osteoarthritis can even cause numbness in legs and arms.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF OSTEOARTHRITIS?
  • Aging – As your body starts aging, cartilages may become weak, owing to their degeneration. This leads to loss of cartilage, exposing the bones to rub against each other.
  • Obesity – As weight increases, joints are compelled to bear huge amounts of weight far beyond their capacity. This excessive pressure results in the wear and tear of the cartilage cushions.
  • Heredity – Risk is greater in those who have inherited factors. The degenerative disorder is often seen to run in the family.
  • Arthrogryposis – This congenital joint disorder may also lead to osteoarthritis.
  • Previous Injury – Injuries sustained in the joints could also result in the wear and tear of the cartilage cushions.
  • Inflammatory Diseases – Diseases like costochondritis, gout, Lyme disease, and perthe’s disease may also lead to osteoarthritis ultimately.
HOW IS OSTEOARTHRITIS TREATED?
  • Mentioned below are some treatments for osteoarthritis pain:Massage Treatment: Deep massages and holistic care have shown very positive results in a majority of patients and have helped them lessen osteoarthritis pain.

    Physical Therapy: Special exercises aimed and lessening the stiffness in the neck and joints can also improve pain management.

    Bracing – this can offload painful arthritic areas.

    Cane – a cane can decrease the load across a weight bearing joint by over 50%.

    TENS Units – excellent non-narcotic device that applies slight electrical stimulus to help change the way the brain perceives pain signals.

    Injections– There are various options with Chicago pain management doctors that work well. These may include steroid injections, hyaluronic acid procedures (viscosupplementation), PRP therapy and stem cell injections.