The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis and unlike rheumatoid arthritis, the cause of osteoarthritis is not due to any inflammation such as the immune system attacking the joints. Rather, the cause of osteoarthritis can be attributed to the wear and tear of the protective cartilage on your bones over time. The most common parts of your body which may get affected by osteoarthritis are the knees, hands, and spine. Even though osteoarthritis cannot be cured, it is worth noting that the symptoms can be well managed.
Here is everything you need to know about osteoarthritis:
- Intense pain in your joint: This is the most common symptom indicating that you may have osteoarthritis.
- Tenderness in your joint: If after applying a little pressure, your joint feels tender, then it can be considered a sign of osteoarthritis.
- Stiffness in your joint and loss of flexibility: If you feel stiff after a period of inactivity such as waking up in the morning, it's likely you have osteoarthritis. This may also mean that you may not be able to make movements you were previously able to due to the stiffness in your joint.
- Bone spurs: You may also feel extraneous bits of bone from around the affected joint.
The most common cause of osteoarthritis is old age. As you grow older, the cartilage that cushions your bones begins to deteriorate. Without this cartilage to cushion your bones, different bones might rub against one another, thus causing the pain you feel.
As mentioned earlier, it is not possible to cure osteoarthritis, but the pain can only be managed. Here are the best ways to manage pain from arthritis.
- Medications: Depending on how severe your pain is and whether it is chronic or acute, you may be given drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Physical therapy: An exercise routine can be worked out between you and your physical therapist so that your pain reduces and you are able to regain the range of movements you had before you were affected by osteoarthritis.
- Surgery: There are a number of surgeries which can be done to reduce your pain; ranging from a simple lubrication surgery by using hyaluronic acid all the way to a complete joint replacement.