Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is seen especially among older people. Sometimes it is called degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis mostly affects cartilage, the hard but slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they meet to form a joint. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint in the body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in the hands, knees, hips and spine.
HOW IS OSTEOARTHRITIS DIAGNOSED?
A general physician will conduct a physical examination to look for tenderness, swelling or redness, and for range of motion in the joint. Imaging tests such as MRI and X-rays as well as lab tests such as blood tests and joint fluid analysis are needed for definitive diagnosis.
HOW IS OSTEOARTHRITIS TREATED?
Doctors often combine treatments to fit a patient's needs, lifestyle, and health. Osteoarthritis treatment has four main goals:
• Improve joint function
• Keep a healthy body weight
• Control pain
• Achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Osteoarthritis treatment plans can involve:
• Weight control
• Rest and joint care
• Nondrug pain relief techniques to control pain
• Complementary and alternative therapies
DID YOU KNOW?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide.