What Is Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis can be a pain for almost anyone who suffers from it. With osteoarthritis it feels like you will not ever get any relief. Fortunately that is not the case with osteoarthritis.
There are few treatment options that can help relieve the swelling and pain caused by osteoarthritis.
But before we explore the various treatment options we should look into exactly what osteoarthritis is and what causes it.
What Is Osteoarthritis ?
Osteoarthritis is caused by everyday life and wear on your joints. Cartilage in your joints can wear down over time. When this happens your bones will rub against each other and cause pain and inflammation. Osteoarthritis can also be caused by a severe injury to the joint, such as a sports injury.
What are the causes of osteoarthritis?
There are many different causes of osteoarthritis they include:
- Hereditary factors
- Fracture of bone
- Being physically inactive
- Joint injury
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history
How is it diagnosed?
There are many medical tests that can be done including:
- Blood tests to rule out joint pain
- Rheumatoid factor test
- C-reactive protein
- Erythrocyte rate
- Joint x rays
It is a possibility to miss the diagnosis of osteoarthritis because some patients exhibit little to no symptoms until the disease progresses too rapidly.
How is osteoarthritis treated?
There is no known cure for osteoarthritis, but with treatment you can minimize the joint damage, and complications. The best treatment options include physical therapy, resting, medications, exercise, and in some more severe cases, surgery.
Physical therapy includes range motion exercise to increase the strength in the joints. Occupational therapy includes heat and coldness on the joints, and injections of steroids to help with the inflammation.
Many medications to treat osteoarthritis include acetaminophen, anti inflammatory drugs, ibuprofen, and glucosamine. Many surgical procedures include helping to decrease joint pain and fix deformities. They include arthroscopy and joint replacement.
An additional few tips to help decrease pain associated with osteoarthritis include:
- Loss of weight
- Regular exercise
- Pain relief:
- Warm bath
- Topical sprays
- Warm shower
- Gentle stretching
- Hot towels
- Heat packs
You can protect the joint also with a brace or splint, as well as many different relaxation techniques. If needed you may be able to use a cane or walker for help walking. Some patients have also tried acupuncture and have described the pain as less severe with this form of treatment.
No matter what treatment option your doctor and you decide on, it is important to remember that with osteoarthritis no one treatment option works the same for 2 people. While one person might do well on physical therapy, another must have medication with additional options to keep the pain at bay. Osteoarthritis is not the end of the world, and a good quality of life can be had with it.
Remember to keep in close contact with your doctor to discuss the changes in your osteoarthritis symptoms.