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Overview

Osteoarthritis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Osteoarthritis is a medical condition which occurs when a protective cartilage which is placed at the ends of your bones wears down due to wear and tear. It usually affects the joints of your spine, hips, knees and hands. Osteoarthritis is considered the most common form of arthritis. Being active and leading a healthy lifestyle can slow down the development of this disease. Certain medications can also improve the joint function and improve pain.

What causes Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis usually occurs when the cartilage (a slippery and firm tissue that allows frictionless joint motion) which cushions the bones inside your joints start deteriorating. The surface beneath the cartilage starts becoming rough. If the cartilage is damaged completely, the bones can be rubbing together without a protective barrier in between. This can cause immense pain and discomfort.

Risk factors which can make you susceptible in developing Osteoarthritis:

  • Old age- When you start aging, your bones tend to grow weaker. This can cause Osteoarthritis.
  • Sex- Studies state that women are more prone in developing Osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity- Extra body weight can add more pressure and stress on the joints of your body, which can make the cartilage on your knees, hips and joints prone to more friction. Fat tissues also produce proteins which can cause chronic inflammation on your joints leading to Osteoarthritis.
  • Joint injuries- Injuries which occur while playing sports or from a fatal accident can increase your chances of developing Osteoarthritis. Injuries that have occurred several years ago can also make you develop Osteoarthritis in the future.
  • Some occupations- Certain jobs include tasks which put continuous stress on a particular joint. This region can easily get affected by Osteoarthritis.
  • Genetics- If one or both parents have Osteoarthritis, the child is also prone in developing Osteoarthritis.
  • Bone deformities- People who are born with a defective cartilage or malformed joint are more susceptible in developing Osteoarthritis.

Diagnosis:

Osteoarthritis can be diagnosed by an orthopedic specialist. Usually tests like Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-rays are performed. These tests confirm the cartilage loss and bone spurs surrounding the affected joint. Sometimes, lab tests like blood test and Joint fluid analysis is carried out to analyze joint or blood fluid levels in your bone. These tests also confirm whether or not you have Osteoarthritis. Sometimes symptoms of Osteoarthritis can be similar to joint infection, gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

Can't be cured, but treatment helps Usually self diagnosable Lab test required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Symptoms
Joint pain in the hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips Loss of flexibility. Grating sensation in the affected bones.

Popular Health Tips

Cervical Osteoarthritis - Physical Therapy Treatment For It!!

Dr. Mahesh G 85% (10 ratings)
BPTh/BPT, PGDPV
Physiotherapist, Bangalore
Cervical Osteoarthritis - Physical Therapy Treatment For It!!
Cervical osteoarthritis is also known as cervical spondylosis. It is a medical condition which involves changes in the joints of neck, bones and discs. This is generally caused due to the deterioration of the muscles owing to old age. With age, the cervical spine breaks down and loses all its fluids. This leads to stiffness in the spine. It occurs usually in middle aged and old aged people. This causes stiffness and severe neck pain. Corrective surgery is helpful to cure Cervical Osteoarthritis. Symptoms of Cervical Osteoarthritis: Pain and stiffness in the neck. Headache which usually emerges from the neck. Severe pain in the arms and shoulder. Not being able to turn the head or neck fully while driving. Muscle spasm and abnormal reflexes. Grinding sensation or noise caused while bending the neck. Cervical Osteoarthritis can be cured by physiotherapy in the following ways: Heat modalities- In this method the pain and stiffness is reduced by putting heat on the affected area. This type of therapy is called heat therapy. Neck exercise- Regular stretching and bending exercises for the neck can reduce pain and stiffness Manipulating therapy- This form of therapy is used by massage therapists. They massage and manipulate the joints so that the muscles can function smoothly. Hydrotherapy- This therapy involves exercising in a pool. Hydrotherapy is extremely beneficial for people having severe joint pain and stiffness. Cervical traction- This is a common non-surgical treatment which cures pain in the neck by opening the cervical foramen (hole or passage). Physiotherapy is the most natural and safe way of curing cervical osteoarthritis. If you are diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, you should start physiotherapy as soon as possible.
3120 people found this helpful

Arthritis - What Type of Arthritis Do You Have?

Dr. Gautam Das 92% (1244 ratings)
MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
Arthritis - What Type of Arthritis Do You Have?
What are the Different Kinds of Arthritis and How to Treat Them? Arthritis is a very common medical condition that affects a lot of adults as they age. It occurs due to inflammation of the joints, which can be caused by a number of factors such as aging, injury or infection. There are over a hundred different kinds of arthritis that cause various sorts of problems to those affected. However this condition can be broadly classified into two major types, which include the following: 1.Osteoarthritis - Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is the most common kind of chronic condition to affect the joints. This occurs when the cartilage that surrounds the joint wears away and allows the ends of bones to rub against each other causing immense pain and is often accompanied by inflammation and swelling. The primary cause of osteoarthritis is aging and occurs mainly due to pressure on the joints from lifting heavy weights. 2.Rheumatoid Arthritis - This is the most common type of arthritis that occurs due to joint inflammation. It is an autoimmune condition, which means that it is caused by a dysfunction of the immune system that leads to inflammation of the joints. Chronic inflammation causes joint deformities and even the development of rheumatoid nodules on the skin around the joint. Two-thirds of patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis are women. Depending on the nature of the condition and the age and medical history of the patient, diagnosis, and treatment of arthritis varies. Although there is no permanent cure for arthritis, especially the type caused by aging, a number of remedies exist that provide relief from pain. Some of the common methods of treatment for arthritis are: Medication - Some medicines provide relief from the pain of arthritis if it is not too severe. These include painkillers, anti-inflammatory pills, sprays, and ointments, etc. In case of high-intensity pain, codeine is often prescribed. Stem Cell Therapy - This method involves drawing platelets from the patient's own blood and injecting it into the inflamed parts of the joint in order to repair damaged muscles and alleviate pain. Injections - A number of anti-inflammatory substances and lubricants can be injected into the affected joints to decrease pain. Ozone gas injections are an example of this. Surgery - In extreme cases, surgical procedures are resorted to for treating arthritis. However, successful surgery cannot always be guaranteed and it comes with its own set of risks.
1 person found this helpful

Osteoarthritis - 4 Symptoms Of It!

Dr. Sanjay Kapoor 86% (189 ratings)
M. Ch. (Orthopedic), MS - Orthopaedics, Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho), MBBS
Orthopedist, Gurgaon
Osteoarthritis - 4 Symptoms Of It!
As you age, the cartilage cushioning your joints starts wearing down, causing the bones to rub against each other. This causes osteoarthritis, which is a type of degenerative disease caused. The rubbing of the bones causes inflammation of the joints. The joints of the arms and legs along with the lower back are most commonly affected by this condition. Here are some common symptoms, which indicate that you are suffering from osteoarthritis: 1. Pain and tenderness: An aching back, knees, neck and hip with severe pain are some of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis. The pain caused during the early stage of arthritis is classified into tenderness and pain. A sharper pain may be felt while moving the affected joint in a certain way. Tenderness is the discomfort experienced when the joint is pressed along with visible swelling in the affected area. 2. Joint stiffness: Joint stiffness is another early symptom of osteoarthritis. It refers to the wooden feeling, which makes a person feel slow and sluggish. The urge to rest or go to bed should be resisted. Warming up the joints with gentle exercise or moving around cause relief. It also helps in reducing the stiffness and you can continue your regular activities with more ease. 3. Abnormal sensations: When the cartilage wears down, the rubbing of the bones against each other may lead to some abnormal sensations. Grating of the joints is common in people with osteoarthritis. One may feel that their joints are cracking or clicking while moving. 4. Loss of flexibility: People who are in their early stages of osteoarthritis may face difficulty with moving the areas which are affected. This joint stiffness and pain may lead to a loss of flexibility or loss of range of motion. Range of motion refers to the extent up to which one can move his joints normally. In case you are not being able to bend your knee fully or as far as you would have done it normally, you might be experiencing osteoarthritis. Loss of flexibility occurs slowly and gradually. A person may hurt his back unusually during a football game or may experience a stiff back in the morning after waking up. This gets more intense with time. In the later stages, you may experience joint pain even while resting. In case you experience any symptoms of osteoarthritis, you must consult a doctor immediately. The doctor will provide you with a plan aimed at managing and getting a quicker relief from the pain caused due to osteoarthritis. Several over-the-counter medicines, braces for supporting affected joints and range of motion exercises are also effective ways of managing osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis - Ways To Reduce The Risk!

Dr. Manoj Kumar Khemani 90% (421 ratings)
MCh Ortho, ATLS (AIIMS), Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho), MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Kolkata
Osteoarthritis - Ways To Reduce The Risk!
What causes osteoarthritis and how to prevent it? The condition of osteoarthritis is very common as you age. The condition is said to affect women more than men and is mainly due to the low estrogen levels that women tend to experience once they cross the age of 50. What causes this most common form of arthritis? The problem of osteoarthritis (oa) takes place when the soft but firm connective tissue is known as cartilage found in between bones of your joints (such as knees, ankles or elbows) deteriorates. This soft connective tissue is vital for ensuring frictionless motion of joints. During osteoarthritis, the surface of this tissue takes on a rough texture, and consequently, it wears down completely. What can you do to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis? There are several simple ways that you can employ to prevent this condition from occurring and these are: 1. Maintain a healthy body weight Being overweight is one of the leading risk factors for osteoarthritis. The extra body weight causes additional pressure to be exerted on weight-bearing joints like knees and hips. As time passes, this additional strain damages the cartilage that acts as pads between bones of the joints. Additionally, the extra body weight also causes your body to produce a destructive protein known cytokines, leading to inflammation of the joint areas. 2. Maintain an optimal blood sugar level High levels of glucose in your body bring about the development of certain chemicals that make cartilage rigid and more susceptible to mechanical stress. Controlling abnormal blood sugar levels is vital for reducing this risk of inflammation that can lead to the loss of cartilage and joint damage. 3. Indulge in physical activity Indulging in any kind of physical can help in keeping your joints healthy. You need to spend about 30 minutes of each day on performing the moderately intense exercise. This will ensure not only the ability of your joints but also make stronger the muscles that hold up and steady your hips and knees. 4. Have a well-balanced diet Including certain foods in your diet can help in reducing your chances of developing osteoarthritis. A well-balanced diet that prevents oa should consist of ample amount of omega - 3 fatty acids, vitamin d and vitamin c. While fatty fish like tuna and salmon, eggs, sunlight etc are considered to be good sources of vitamin d, strawberries, tomatoes and potatoes are just a few of the food sources that you can consider for meeting your vitamin c requirements. For meeting your omega - 3 fatty acids requirement, you can consume fish oil as well as plant or nut oils. If you would like to consult with me privately, please click on 'consult'. Related Tip: 3 Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis to Watch Out for
2 people found this helpful

Osteoarthritis: Symptoms And Treatment

Dr. Radhakrishnan Paulraj 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Chennai
Osteoarthritis: Symptoms And Treatment
Osteoarthritis is a Non Inflammatory disease that affects many joints, knee joint most common. In normal joint, a firm, rubbery material called cartilage covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint motion and acts as a cushion between the bones. In Osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. This disease, that mostly affects women, worsens over the time and should be treated as early as possible. Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary, depending on which joints are affected and how severely they are affected. However, the most common symptoms are pain and stiffness, particularly first thing in the morning or after resting. Affected joints may get swollen, especially after extended activity. These symptoms tend to build over time rather than show up suddenly. Some of the common symptoms include: Sore or stiff joints after inactivity or overuse Limited range of motion or stiffness that goes away after movement Clicking or cracking sound when joint bends Mild swelling around a joint Pain that is worse after activity or toward the end of the day Treatment Options For Osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis is a chronic (long-term) disease. There is no cure, but treatments are available to manage symptoms. Long-term management of the disease will include several factors: Managing symptoms, such as pain, stiffness and swelling Improving joint mobility and flexibility Maintaining a healthy weight Getting enough of exercise Physical Activity: One of the most beneficial ways to manage OA is to get moving. While it may be hard to think of exercise when the joints hurt, moving is considered an important part of the treatment plan. Simple activities like walking around the neighborhood or taking a fun, easy exercise class can reduce pain and help maintain (or attain) a healthy weight. Strengthening exercises build muscles around OA-affected joints, easing the burden on those joints and reducing pain. Aerobic exercise helps to improve stamina and energy levels and also help to reduce excess weight. Talk to a doctor before starting an exercise program. Weight Management: Excess weight adds additional stress to weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, feet and back. Losing weight can help people with OA reduce pain and limit further joint damage. The basic rule for losing weight is to eat fewer calories and increase physical activity. Stretching: Slow, gentle stretching of joints may improve flexibility, lessen stiffness and reduce pain. Exercises such as is great ways to manage stiffness. Braces: For varus and valgus deformity of knee joint, brace very helpful like Unloader Knee Brace has importent role in Osteoarthritis knee. Management: Medical: Glucosamine/Chondroitin- Glucosamine/Chondroitin 1500 mg/1200 mg daily, they are diet supplement used in mild and moderate osteoarthritis knee. Major component of joint cartilage. Supplements are derived from the shells of shellfish (such as shrimp, lobster and crab) or from vegetable sources. Slows deterioration of cartilage, relieves osteoarthritis(OA) pain and improves joint mobility. For Pain Management NSAIDs Cox-2 inhibitors Opioids Intraarticular Injections Intraarticular Glucocorticoids: Mainly Indicated when pain persist despite of pain killer. Its effective for short-term pain relief < 12 wks. There may be acute flare in pain 48 hrs post-injection. Hyaluronans (e.g. Synvisc): Its indicated when pain persists despite other agents. Its like Synthetic joint fluid. Pain relief similar to steroid injections. 60-70% patients respond well , pain relief approx 6 months to 1 year Surgical Management Knee pain or functional status has failed to improve with non-operative management Types of Surgery Arthroscopic Irrigation Arthroscopic Debridement High Tibial Osteotomy Partial Knee Arthroplasty Total Knee Arthroplasty Which type of surgery you require it will be decide by your orthopaedic surgeon after clinical and radiological examination. Joint Replacement Surgery: Joint surgery can repair or replace severely damaged joints, especially hips or knees. A doctor will refer an eligible patient to an orthopaedic surgeon to perform the procedure. Knee replacement has become the most common form of joint replacement surgery. Between 1991 and 2010, the incidence of knee replacements increased by over 161%, due partly to improvements in the science of knee replacement implants, experience of surgeons, and the growing population of knee replacement patients. Although public perception can be influenced by negative advertising and press, the fact is that knee replacement surgery is one of the most successful surgical procedures performed today. Success rates and quality of life improvements for knee replacement patients are reliably very high. Nine out of 10 knee replacement patients experience an immediate relief from knee pain, and 95% report they are satisfied with their procedure. Approximately 90% of replacement knee joints last 10 years, while 80% are good for 20+ years, depending on patient health and activity levels. Outcomes vary from patient to patient depend upon level of deformity and grade of Osteoarthritis. Positive Attitude: Many studies have demonstrated that a positive outlook can boost the immune system and increase a person's ability to handle pain. Preventive Measures People with endocrine disorders are prone to osteoarthritis. This includes hypothyroidism. You must immediately begin medications if you are diagnosed with thyroid conditions. In several cases, osteoporosis is genetic. One may inherit a tendency to develop bone deformities as he/she ages. X-ray after regular intervals helps the doctors to understand the condition of your bones and joints. This helps to prescribe exercises, medications and diet accordingly. Yoga helps to maintain joint flexibility and increase bone strength. It also helps to prevent stress and anxiety. A diet rich in protein and calcium helps to prevent degeneration and brittleness in bones. It is important to go out into the sun once in a while and soak up as much vitamin D as possible. This is a very healthy habit and contributes to the well-being of the entire skeletal systems.
1 person found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My age is 25 only. Since 2 weeks some sound is getting in my knees when I bend knees or while doing exercises. Is it normal r any unhealthy in my legs.

Dr. Rahul (Pt) 88% (73 ratings)
BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Agra
Hi lybrate-user. You can do quadriceps exe to strengthen the surrounding muscles of knee joints and take parrafin wax bath also for some days ,you get soon relif. For more detail get audio ,text consultaion. REGARDS.
1 person found this helpful

The best medicine for osteoarthritis? Damaged Cartilage can rebuilt? Please let me know Thanks Regards.

Dr. Nishit Palo 89% (23 ratings)
ms orthopaedics, mbbs
Orthopedist, Noida
Threorotically cartilage can rebuild or repair itself. It repairs itself provided there is no bone to bone contact as in advanced arthritis. You can try Cartilox sachets once sachet per day for 2-3 months. Or tab Cartigen DN twice daily for 2-3 months.

I have been suffering from Osteoarthritis ford last 2 years. What are the best exercises requires to be performed in acute degenerative condition of both the knees? I have already taken the opinion of Orthopedist who has also advised for exercises. Your kind advice is solicited.

Dr. Pankaj Das 92% (92 ratings)
Master of Physiotherapy
Physiotherapist, Guwahati
Hi lybrate-user thanks for giving me an opportunity to answer your question. For exercises start with knee isometric exercises by placing a roll of towel below the knee joint. And knee flexion extension exercises in sitting. Apply hot water pack for 20 mins which will decrease the pain and relax the surrounding muscles. Once comfortable after few days all of these exercises. Need to start with other forms of exercises. In case you are finding it difficult how to start get an text, audio or video consultation. Will be explaining all the exercises in prescribed audio and video formats. Regards.

I have been suffering from osteoarthritis for last 2 years. I was under the treatment of Orthopaedic Surgeon, on whose advice I have been taking medicines eg. Univestin 500 twice daily and Glucosamine 500 twice daily along with knee exercises. But still I am feeling pain with uneasiness while walking. Kindly advise exact knee exercises I require to perform and proper medicines to be taken.

MPTh/MPT
Physiotherapist, Mumbai
Hi Kindly see a physiotherapist. Medications seem to be okay. But you need a proper stretching and exercises plan. Do the exercises under supervision of a therapist who can correct you in case you r doing it wrong. Do contact me in case of any other query. Regards

I am 48 years old, I am suffering from osteoarthritis both knees, cervical spondylosis, lumbar spondylosis. I am taking traction, doing exercises, but always there is pain in my neck, how long I have to take pain killer? Is there any other remedy?

Dr. Julie Mercy J David Raja 92% (4055 ratings)
Erasmus Mundus Master in Adapted Physical Activity, MPT, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai
Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include joint pain and progressive stiffness that develops gradually. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include painful swelling, inflammation, and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs, and wrists occurring in the same joints on both sides of the body, especially upon awakening. This is cervical pain (neck pain) and that's the reason the pain radiates until the shoulder blades. If you keep ice that would help and along side you can do hot water fermentation. You shall use cervical collar which would help you to reduce the radiating pain ie. Due to the nerve compression I used to have a shoulder pain for working in front of the computer. Do you suggest any medicine or exercise? This is due to the improper posture as while sitting in fro nt of the computer and it leads to neck pain and thereby it leads to shoulder pain.
1 person found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Arthritis - Few Common Facts!

Dr. L Tomar 88% (11 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, M.Ch, FICS(USA)
Orthopedist, Delhi
Arthritis only affects people of old age. True or false. Take this quiz to know more.`
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Rheumatoid Arthritis - Interesting Facts About It!

Dr. Sree Hari Reddy Gadekallu 90% (45 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Fellowship in Rheumatology
General Physician, Khammam
There is no link between rheumatoid arthritis and smoking. True or false. Take this quiz to know more.
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Neck Pain - What All Can Lead To It?

Dr. Gautam Das 92% (1244 ratings)
MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
Poor posture can trigger Cervical Spondylitis. True or false, take this quiz to know more.
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Do you think you need to lose weight?

Dr. Vishwas Madhav Thakur 92% (909 ratings)
MBBS, AFIH, PGDMLS, MD-HRM, MD-HM
General Physician, Gurgaon
Eating less is the best way to lose weight. True or false. Take a quiz to know more about it.
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Knee Replacement - When It Is Required?

Dr. Madu Sridhar 85% (43 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, M.Ch Trauma & Ortho, Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho), MBBS
Orthopedist, Chennai
Osteoarthritis is the main reason for knee replacement. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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