Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis and is affects millions of people each and every day. Since there are millions of people that are suffering from this type of arthritis, doctors have discovered more and more treatments than ever before that can help you to manage your osteoarthritis pain and flare-ups. Unfortunately, there is no cure and this form of arthritis can affect anyone at any stage of life, but it is completely manageable with the right combination of treatments. Read on to learn more.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage at the end of the bones is not strong enough to protect the joints and the end of bones. As you age, the cartilage at the ends of your bones naturally deteriorates and becomes less effective. However, osteoarthritis affects anyone at nearly any age but does tend to affect older people more often. As a result of the worn-down cartilage, joints become inflamed, the ends of the bones rub together, and widespread pain is felt throughout the body. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it does most commonly affect the hands, knees, hips, and spine.
Some symptoms to look for are pain after movement, tenderness in joints when you apply only light pressure, stiffness in joints when you wake up or after long periods of little or no movement. You may also experience loss of flexibility, grating or rubbing when you move where the bones are rubbing together, or bone spurs. Bone spurs are going to be bits of extra bone that form around the affected joint. These can all cause pain and discomfort in the body and can make completing everyday tasks difficult if not nearly impossible. Without the proper care and treatment, your osteoarthritis can become more widespread and can even become debilitating in some cases.
There are treatments however to help remedy and manage this type of disease. Some risk factors to get this disease are things like obesity, age, and jobs or lifestyles that require you to move a great deal. Doctors can use x-rays, blood tests, and other imaging tests to confirm that you do in fact have osteoarthritis and continue to your treatment. There are first some over the counter treatments that might help, things like NSAIDs or anti-inflammatory drugs can help as well as Tylenol or acetaminophen as well. These are both going to help manage pain and help to manage the inflammation of the joints as well. Aspirin, Aleve, and ibuprofen are all NSAIDS that help to reduce inflammation. Celebrex is a fantastic prescription that can also gel alleviate pain associated with osteoarthritis.
If you are not getting the relief you need with pain killers, you may also want to take the time to go to physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles around the joints as well as occupational therapy to help find new ways to do your daily tasks without causing more stress to joints. For those cases where the damage is very severe, you may want to consider surgical intervention or even injections in the joints to help build up the cartilage around the bones and to help make the joints stronger. So, talk to your doctor about osteoarthritis and find a treatment option that works for you.