Causes and Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis

By: hunter
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease. It is one of the oldest and most commonly known types of arthritis. When a person suffers from OA there is a breakdown of the joint's cartilage. Since cartilage itself is there to act as a cushion between the bones, when this breakdown and wears away the bones will begin rubbing together and this can cause some serious pain as well as limitations in movement and in some cases loss of movement completely.

What Causes Osteoartritis?

There are many factors affecting the onset of osteoarthritis. Since it is more commonly found in middle to older aged people, medical professionals had made the mistake of thinking that age was a contributing factor. However, research has shown that age is not a leading factor to the onset of Osteoarthritis. However, doctors and medical professionals have found that being overweight does have some effect. When a person is overweight or obese, they are more likely to experience some pain in the knees and in most cases will develop OA in these areas. People who have experienced some kind of injury in the joints, either due to playing sports or through work are more likely to develop OA.

There have been incidences of OA in people who have been born with some kind of genetic condition that affects the joints in some way. OA is most commonly found in the hands.

Treatment Options

Exercises to keep joints flexible and improve muscle strength

Many different medications are used to control pain, including corticosteroids and NSAIDs. Glucocorticoids injected into joints that are inflamed and not responsive to NSAIDS. For mild pain without inflammation, acetaminophen may be used.

Heat/cold therapy for temporary pain relief

Joint protection to prevent strain or stress on painful joints

Surgery (sometimes) to relieve chronic pain in damaged joints
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