Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disorder in which the cartilage that protects your joints wears over time. It is characterized by the loss of articulation, hypertrophy of bone, and variation in the synovial membrane.
The symptoms associated with Osteoarthritis are, feeling of pain after bearing weight on knees or the prolonged activity, whereas muscle stiffness is observed during inactivity.
Osteoarthritis can cause damage to various sites such as ligaments, muscles, menisci, etc. This condition can also affect the hand, knees, feet, or spine and also the other joints of the shoulder and hips.
The ends of the bones are joined with tissue called cartilage. A person suffering from Osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down and may induce pain, stiffness, along with other symptoms because of rubbing bones.
It occurs most frequently in elderly individuals, even though it can occur in adults of any age. OA is also known as degenerative joint disease, degenerative arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It is a chief cause of disability and has affected over 30 million people in the USA.
Hip osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that occurs in one or both hips. The condition can be treated by exercise, various medications, and therapies. In case the condition becomes worse than steroid injection or surgeries would be the only solution to overcome this condition.
Knee osteoarthritis can occur in one or both the knees. Many factors are associated with knee osteoarthritis and play a vital role, such as knee injuries, age, or genetic factors.
Cervical Osteoarthritis is also called cervical spondylosis occurs in men or women both, and people over 60 years of age are affected by this condition.
Symptoms associated with cervical Osteoarthritis include
- Neck stiffness
- Pain in shoulders
- Weakened muscles
- Numbness in arms or leg
- Tingling sensation in arms or leg
Spinal Osteoarthritis is also called spinal spondylosis. The part affected by this condition is lower back and buttocks. Symptoms associated with this kind of condition are:
- Tingling sensation
- Stiffness of the back and the lower joints
Statistics of Osteoarthritis
As per statistics, the second most common rheumatological problem in the world is Osteoarthritis. The prevalence of the disease is 10% to 15% around the world. Most people over 60 years of age are suffering from Osteoarthritis.
Types of Osteoarthritis
There are two types of Osteoarthritis:
- Primary Osteoarthritis
- Secondary Osteoarthritis
Primary Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition, and it occurs due to wear and tear conditions. It is associated with aging, however as the age increases there to become the chances of the water retention or water content reduces inside the cartilage or bones, which results in weakening the bones and cartilage, it becomes less resilient and is more prone to degradation.
Primary Osteoarthritis is mainly due to genetic inheritance, and approximately 60% of the individuals suffering from the Osteoarthritis is due to genetic factor.
Secondary Osteoarthritis occurs earlier in life, and it might be due to changes in the cartilage’s microenvironment or various factors such as injury, trauma, diabetes, or obesity.
Few of the risk factors associated with the secondary Osteoarthritis are
- Inactive lifestyle
- Genetic factor
- Squatting for a more extended period
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Abnormal stress on the joints
Causes of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes by wearing and tear of the cartilage. It is present in between the joints and performs the function as a shock absorber. When the cartilage loses its elasticity, it becomes stiff. It loses its capability to perform the shock-absorbing task, and the cartilage deteriorates, which results in inflammation in the lining of the joints.
The other causes of Osteoarthritis are as follows:
One of the causes of Osteoarthritis is aging, and people above 50 years of age are at a higher risk of Osteoarthritis as the bones start to deteriorate with the increasing age.
Osteoarthritis is common in people who are obese as their weight puts pressure on the joints, especially the weight-bearing joints, and pressure on those joins results in inflammation.
People with a family history of Osteoarthritis are at higher risk of developing this disease.
Any injury or tear in the joint can be likely to develop Osteoarthritis after years. People with joint injuries are at higher risk of developing it.
Overuse of the joints:
The overuse of the joint increases the risk of this disease.
The people with rheumatoid arthritis or, in rare cases, the excess growth of hormones can get likely to develop the chances of Osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
The most common symptoms associated with Osteoarthritis is pain, joint stiffness, and loss of mobility.
The most dominant symptom of Osteoarthritis is pain. The pain in the weight-bearing joints got worsen with constant moving or walking. The type of pain experienced during Osteoarthritis can be aching, piercing, or sharp. In severe cases, the patient may experience pain while resting.
Patients usually experience joint stiffness in the morning or when they are inactive for a more extended time period. The stiffness can be release with a specific movement or warmup.
Loss Of Mobility:
When the joint becomes restricted to a particular movement, it results in immobility in the joints. Loss of movement can cause numerous difficulties while performing daily activities, walking or climbing, etc.
Other symptoms associated with Osteoarthritis
They are a few other symptoms that are associated with it are as follows:
- Loss of flexibility
- Physical deformity
- Synovial effusion
Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis
There is no diagnostic test present for identifying the condition of Osteoarthritis. However, it can be diagnosed with the help of physical examination, medical history, and imaging techniques.
With the help of medical history, the doctor can predict osteoarthritis symptoms.
Physical examination includes a series of test, such as:
- Inspection and palpation of the joins
- Range of movements of joint
- Tenderness of joints
- Joint instability
- Bony lumps
- Swelling in the joints
Imaging tests for identifying it are as follows.
These radiographs determine the severity of the joint deterioration.
Use of X-rays to find the loss of cartilage. It determines the osteophytes at the joint margins. With the help of x-rays, we can identify the leading cause of pain. It also predicts the narrowing of the joint spaces and bone sclerosis.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is not a cost-effective test. Therefore, it is not often used to predict Osteoarthritis. In severe cases, MRI is performed to find out the condition of the joints. MRI is used to predict other types of arthritis.
Treatment of Osteoarthritis
The following ways are to treat Osteoarthritis.
Maintaining A Healthy Weight
Overweight or obesity can lead to putting extra weight on the joints, which increases the chances of Osteoarthritis, therefore maintaining a healthy weight is mandatory.
Daily exercise helps in muscle strengthening, thus protecting your joints from injuries.
Several medicines help in minimizing the arthritis pain, consult your doctor for the suitable medication for Osteoarthritis.
In severe cases, when treatments are of no help, then there is an option of surgery. Surgeries are the treatment for strengthening the joints, or sometimes the joints may be replaced.