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Osteoarthritis - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Written By : Dr. James Pendergraft 
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Osteoarthritis, which is also called as degenerative arthritis is the most common type of arthritis which is affecting millions of people around the globe. It generally is caused by the loss of cartilage material between the joints. Cartilage is a soft cushion like material which constitute about 70% of water and other protein content like collagen and proteoglycans.

The two mating bones in joints like knees, feet and wrists and elbows need a cushion type of material to support the free movement of bones and also to absorb the shocks. In osteoarthritis condition due to breakage and lack of cushion material, the bones generally comes to direct contact. This results a constant chronic pain whenever there is some load on bones. This problem generally is observed in both male and females who are mostly middle aged and old.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Aging is the first and foremost cause of osteoarthritis. Due to aging, normally the water content in the cartilage increases more and dilutes the protein and it slowly degenerates. Apart from it, obesity also causes osteoarthritis. Due to heavy weight, the high impact which falls on knees, lower back and feet will damage the cartilage tissue. Obesity is the one reason why we see lot of young people suffering from osteoarthritis at considerably young ages.

Diabetes is also a major cause of osteoarthritis. The diabetic people irrespective of their weights carry a high risk of getting osteoarthritis. There are many other causes like fractures, improper formation of joints during birth and other bone diseases which lead to osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The one straight symptom is unbearable chronic pain from the joint where the cartilage had been degenerated. The day to day life work goes too difficult to carry out, especially when walking. Hip and knee joints are mainly affected. The affected area will be swollen and extremely sore. Also the symptoms considerably vary from patient to patient on osteoarthritis. Unlike the other disease, it doesn't affect the other organs of the body. So when chronic pain continuously occur at specific joints, it's more likely to be osteoarthritis affected.

Available Treatments

Luckily there are plenty of treatments available for osteoarthritis. One can choose the type of treatments depending upon the intensity of problem. There are three general types of treatments available for osteoarthritis which are home, medical and surgical treatments. With so much improvement of technology in medical field and with high success rate, now everyone is looking to undergo surgery. Arthroplasty, Chondroplasty, Osteotomy, Arthrodesis and Joint replacement are major surgeries that are under practice to treat osteoarthritis. When the problem is medium or at initial stages, most doctors prescribes medication which mostly contains NSAID pain killers.

It is most effective when followed with some general home care treatment. A general home care treatment includes regular exercises, weight loss programs, balanced diet; usage of orthopedic equipment like shoes and spine belts. Depending upon the severity of the problem, an osteoarthritis patient can choose the best possible treatment method available to cure the disease.

To Your Health!

 
 
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