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Osteoarthritis: symptoms, causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Osteoarthritis is a very common rheumatic disease, in which the joints break due to wear and tear and aging. Cartilage is a layer that protects bones and joints, when they break, the bones begin to rub, producing stiffness, pain and swelling. The advancement of this condition causes bone spurs , that is, an additional bone is formed in the joint, making it weaker; osteoarthritis occurs before the age of 55 and the incidence is the same for men and women. At FastlyHealwe explain the symptoms and treatments of osteoarthritis .

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and stiffness , which is often made worse by putting pressure or weight on the joint. Symptoms are rare, but x-rays will show the changes caused by the disease. Other ways in which pain and stiffness manifest are:

  • You may hear a rubbing or crunching sound when moving the joint
  • The stiffness can last about 30 minutes when you wake up
  • Joint swelling
  • Appearance of nodules
  • Pain increases with physical exercise
  • Intense pain that can wake you up at night

The joints most affected by this ailment are, above all, where we support the body weight such as the knees, hips, spine, it also develops in the hands andshoulders.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

The cause of osteoarthritis is unknown , it is believed that it can be hereditary and due to joint wear and tear that causes the passage of time, however there are other factors that could cause it:

  • Being overweight, this produces greater wear and tear and chances of breakage.
  • Fractures or injuries to cartilage or ligaments.
  • Some trades that involve climbing stairs or lifting objects for many hours a day.
  • Play sports like soccer or basketball.

There are also some medical conditions that can cause osteoarthritis:

  • Bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, which can cause bleeding in the joint.
  • Disorders that prevent blood flow.
  • Other types of arthritis such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatment for osteoarthritis

Although this condition has no cure and worsens over time, there are a number of treatments that will help control the symptoms. A rheumatologist will be in charge of giving you a suitable plan to improve your condition, first of all medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or analgesics will be prescribed to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

On the other hand, physiotherapy will improve muscle strength and movement, if you do not see improvements in 8 weeks, it is probably not the best treatment option for your condition. Massages are another alternative to relieve pain.

The orthopedic devices and splints must be recommended by a specialist, as their improper use can cause major problems of movement and pain. Surgery will only be recommended in severe cases and are intended to repair or replace the joint, or align the bone to relieve tension.

An alternative treatment can be acupuncture , the needles used stimulate points in the body that release chemicals and block pain, which will be a short-term benefit.

Some advices

Other tips that you should take into account when starting treatment for osteoarthritis are:

  • Exercise regularly, your doctor can provide you with some that you can do at home.
  • Protect your joints.
  • If you are overweight, visit a nutritionist to give you the necessary guidance.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Put cold and heat if you feel pain.
  • Avoid stress and get enough rest.
  • Don’t lift heavy things.
  • Do not forget to take your medication following the doses recommended by your doctor.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Osteoarthritis: symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .

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