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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Osteoarthritis - 10 Quick Facts About It!

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Dr. R. S. SainiInternal Medicine Specialist • 19 Years Exp.MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
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The degeneration of joint cartilage and bone tissue is known as osteoarthritis. This condition affects the elderly and greatly reduces their quality of life by making movement stiff and painful. Here are ten fast facts about osteoarthritis.

  1. Age is not the only trigger: This condition affects the elderly but can also affect middle aged people as well. Apart from age, muscle strength and the amount a joint is used also play an important part in the development of this condition.
  2. It is the most common joint disorder: Osteoarthritis is the most common disease that affects the elderly across the world. In many cases, it goes undiagnosed until late since the onset of the condition is very gradual.
  3. It affects weight bearing joints: The knees, hips and spine are the most commonly affected by this condition. This is because these joints bear the weight of the body. However, it can also affect other joints including the fingers, elbows etc.
  4. Women are at a higher risk of suffering from this than men: Until the age of 45 men and women have the equal risks of suffering from osteoarthritis. However, as women get older, their risks of suffering from this condition increase.
  5. It can be managed: If diagnosed in its early stages, osteoarthritis can be easily managed. Treatment for this condition focuses on controlling pain and slowing the progression of the disease.
  6. Weight loss can make it easier: Obesity is one of the common factors that can trigger this condition. The more weight you put on your joints, the more susceptible it is to osteoarthritis. Hence, losing weight instantly lowers the pressure on your joints and reduces the risk of osteoarthritis.
  7. It is the leading cause of disability amongst the elderly: This condition should not be ignored as simple joint pain. In many cases, this musculoskeletal condition can cause so much pain that it restricts movement and in time leads to disability.
  8. It runs in families: Osteoarthritis is a hereditary condition and can be passed down genetically from one generation to the next.
  9. Rest can relieve pain: Late stage osteoarthritis is characterized by locked joints and severe pain whenever moved. Avoiding jerky movements and letting the joint rest can help ease the pain.
  10. Exercise can help: The above point should not be used as an excuse to avoid exercise. Exercising the joints increases flexibility and helps increase the range of movements possible. Simple yoga asanas, walking and swimming are some exercises to start off with. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.

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