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Osteoarthritis – Causes, Symptoms & How To Manage It?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Osteoarthritis is a condition that primarily occurs due to the breakdown of the cushioning in the joints, which is provided by the cartilage. Though this condition is most commonly found in older people like the older you are, the more chances of you experiencing the tear and wear of your joints.

However, it is also easily found in people already suffering from joint injuries. Note, osteoarthritis sometimes triggers bones to grow near the joints. 

Causes of Osteoarthritis 

Osteoarthritis is pretty common in people due to age-related wear and tear of the cartilage that cushions the surface of bones in a joint. Below, we have listed a few major osteoarthritis causes:

  • Obesity or being overweight is one major reason for osteoarthritis as it puts excessive pressure on the joints, especially the knees. 
  • Injury or surgery of joints might lead to osteoarthritis even if you feel the recovery process is as expected. The chances are high that osteoarthritis may develop. 
  • Genetic predisposition – Some people are more susceptible to this condition due to genetic factors.
  • Body mechanics is another reason for osteoarthritis. The sudden change in the body movements, such as walking, can put pressure on your joints. 
  • Diabetes or any other chronic disease that causes inflammation in the body may increase the risk of osteoarthritis. 
  • Vigorous exercises such as lifting or squatting can sometimes lead to osteoarthritis if not performed in the correct way under supervision. 

Exercising and losing weight if you’re overweight are important ways to lessen the joint pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis. Exercise. Low-impact exercise can increase your endurance and strengthen the muscles around your joint, making your joint more stable. Try walking, bicycling or water aerobics.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a progressive joint disorder that sometimes shows its symptoms in the early stages too. Below we have mentioned some major Osteoarthritis symptoms which your health care professional might spot during regular checkups. The most common Osteoarthritis symptoms are:

  • Regular and severe pain in multiple joints.
  • Tenderness means a feeling of pain or discomfort while pressing joints.
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Increased Inflammation
  • Fatigue and weakness

Osteoarthritis mostly affects the following areas:

  • Hands
  • Fingertips
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Spine especially at the lower back and neck

If you witness any of the following symptoms, especially in the mentioned spots, it’s time to visit your healthcare professional to control the abnormality, if there are any.

Osteoarthritis of the hip is common and can result in severe hip joint pain and disability. Most people with early osteoarthritis of the hip can manage it without surgery, walking at low intensity is found to be very helpful for osteoarthritis.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

How to manage Osteoarthritis 

Managing Osteoarthritis is majorly dependent upon the symptoms you feel. The type of Osteoarthritis management is also largely determined by the severity of the condition. If the condition is extremely severe which requires professional intervention, then the medications become essential. Often the minor lifestyle changes, exercises, physiotherapy help but in advanced cases your doctor may suggest you other treatment options which include injecting some medications in the affected joint. In case of severe damage to joints, surgical intervention may be recommended.

At-home treatment for Osteoarthritis

The following are osteoarthritis treatments:

  • Regular exercise 

One of the best ways to strengthen your muscles is to indulge in regular exercises. Aim for at least 20 – 30 mins of regular workout every day to witness results. Learn the exercises that suit your health.

Being overweight is another major reason for Osteoarthritis; therefore, it’s important to shed extra kilos, which will provide instant relief to your joints. 

Giving proper rest to your muscles is unarguably important to reduce joint inflammation and swelling. Note, it’s your body; therefore, be kind to yourself and take adequate rest to increase efficiency. 

In order to relieve pain and reduce joint swelling, you can ask your doctor about heat and cold therapy. Apply a cold or hot water bag to the inflamed joints and let it sit for 10 – 20 minutes as suggested for your case.

  • Fish oil, green tea, ginger 

Apart from supplements and other medications, fish oil, green tea and ginger are special ingredients that show adequate results and provide instant relief. Blend these into your diet seamlessly to prevent Osteoarthritis. 

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting millions of people worldwide. Early diagnosis and management can be very helpful. If left untreated, the condition may progress to a level where it may restrict the movement of the affected joint. One must not ignore joint pains or suppress it with painkillers. It is important to consult a doctor and understand the correct diet, exercise and treatment for your condition to get the best outcome.

Also Read: Zerodol SP Tablet Uses

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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