Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. It is the most common type of arthritis, affecting more than 32.5 million Americans.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
The symptoms of osteoarthritis can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but common symptoms include:
• Pain in the affected joint(s) during or after movement
• Stiffness in the affected joint(s), particularly after sitting or lying down for a long period of time
• Swelling or tenderness in the affected joint(s)
• A crunching or grinding sensation when moving the affected joint(s)
Causes of Osteoarthritis
The exact cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some factors that may increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis include:
• Age (osteoarthritis is more common in people over the age of 65)
• Previous joint injury or overuse
• Family history of osteoarthritis
• Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or gout
Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but treatment can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Common treatment options include:
• Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, and corticosteroids can all be used to manage osteoarthritis symptoms.
• Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve flexibility and range of motion in affected joints.
• Surgery: In severe cases of osteoarthritis, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged joints.
While there is no surefire way to prevent osteoarthritis, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk:
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Exercise regularly
• Avoid joint injury or overuse
• Use proper joint protection when engaging in physical activities
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a variety of treatment options available to help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. By taking steps to reduce your risk, you may be able to prevent or delay the onset of osteoarthritis.