Understanding Osteoarthritis: Causes, Symptoms & Effective Treatment Options
By Dr. Chandra Bhushan, Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Cracking the Code of Osteoarthritis: Causes, Symptoms, & Solutions
If you’ve heard someone say the words “wear and tear arthritis”, they’re just talking about Osteoarthritis or OA in layman’s terms. Is it one of the most common types of arthritis in the world? Yes. That’s not the shocking part. The surprise is that, more recently, it has started to affect younger people than it has the older. Join me as we delve into Osteoarthritis: its causes, symptoms, and potential treatment solutions, simplifying management for you or your loved ones
Human bones have protective cartilage around our bones and joints. The deterioration of this cartilage is what causes osteoarthritis. What are the factors that cause this you might ask. Here they are.
- Age: OA is easily caused by the regular wear and tear on our joints from age-related issues. People over 45 are at a more significant risk of OA.
- Genetics: If an older generation in your family has had OA, it automatically makes you more susceptible to it compared to the general population.
- Injury: going through a sports injury, a car accident or any other injury puts you at risk for OA in your joints.
- Obesity: Obesity puts extra pressure on the joints with the weight. This increases the likelihood of OA in people
- Gender: Menopause for women in the age range of 45-55 is a factor tipping the scales for them to have OA
- Work: People in high-movement or heavy-lifting jobs are closer to having OA than others due to the physical duress on the body.
OA shares common symptoms with other ailments and varies from person to person. Consulting an orthopaedic professional is the best advisor in this case. It includes:
- Joint pain: Joint pain is a hallmark symptom of having ortho issues, and OA is no different from it. This pain usually worsens from excessive activity.
- Stiffness: In both younger and elderly people, during periods of inactivity or post-sleep, joints affected by OA become stiff and cause movement difficulty.
- Swelling: Swelling in the affected joints of OA patients is usually caused by inflammation.
- Crepitus: Joint movement when suffering from OA causes a grating/ grinding sensation.
- Deformities: An advanced diagnosis of OA is known to cause joint deformities, including knobby swellings in fingers or bow-legged formation in the knees.
Although there is no permanent cure for osteoarthritis, there are multiple treatment options to help in symptom management and improve quality of life.
- Lifestyle modification: Making basic lifestyle changes can be beneficial in moderating OA. Some inclusions are better diet, exercise and low-impact activities like walking, cycling and swimming.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy helps develop an individualised plan to help patients with OA by planning exercises to strengthen the muscles around affected joints and improve joint flexibility and pain alleviation.
- Medications: Pain and inflammation can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications such as paracetamol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs). Your doctor may recommend stronger drugs or topical treatments in some circumstances.
- Injections: Corticosteroid injections directly into the joint can provide brief pain and inflammatory alleviation. Injections of hyaluronic acid may also be utilised to lubricate the joint.
- Assistance devices: Braces, splints, or canes are all assisting devices and can help reduce the pressure put on joints and drastically improve mobility.
- Surgical procedure: In extremely necessary scenarios, one can consider surgical solutions like joint realignment, joint replacement or arthroscopy to help in better living.
Osteoarthritis is a debilitating and quite common condition. It does hamper people’s ability to lead comfortable and fulfilling lives. Preventive lifestyle, early diagnosis, and comprehensive care are the keys to slowing the progression of the condition and refining joint and bone health.
In the event that you or someone you know is suffering from or feels symptomatic of Osteoarthritis or any other orthopaedic ailments, you can book an appointment with the most skilled orthopaedic specialists at the best orthopaedic hospital in Hyderabad, KIMS-Sunshine Hospitals, Secunderabad. For a pain-free, healthy existence, the orthopaedic hospital near you can provide excellent medical guidance and can help make wise decisions with your orthopaedic health.
It is important to remember that having OA does not mean that you have to give up on an active and healthy life. It only means you need to do a better management job of your symptoms and lifestyle.</s
Q. What is the main cause of osteoarthritis?
A. The gradual wear and tear of joint cartilage over time, usually from ageing, overuse, or injury, leads to joint pain and is the most common cause of osteoarthritis
Q. Which age group is more prone to osteoarthritis?
A. Osteoarthritis is more common in people over the age of 50, but it can impact people of all ages, particularly those with a family history of the disease, joint injuries, or other risk factors.
Q. What are the main symptoms of osteoarthritis?
A. Osteoarthritis symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion, and swelling. It most commonly affects weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, and spine, causing pain and limiting mobility.
Q. What is the best treatment for osteoarthritis?
A. The most effective treatment for osteoarthritis often consists of a mix of lifestyle changes (such as exercise and weight control), pain relief drugs, physical therapy, and, in some circumstances, surgical procedures such as joint replacement. Individualised treatment strategies should be reviewed with a physician.
Q. Which is the best hospital for the treatment of osteoarthritis?
A. The best orthopaedic hospital in Hyderabad is KIMS-Sunshine Hospital in Secunderabad, which has highly skilled orthopaedic specialists and support staff, to help your treatment with osteoarthritis or any other orthopaedic conditions. Book an appointment at the best orthopaedic hospital near me today.