Osteoarthritis

Treatment to help with Osteoarthritis in Loughborough & Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.  

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. With age, this type of wear of the joints is to be expected, but in my experience, pain, especially unilateral pain (affecting one side of the body or one joint in particular), normally has a reason. If a joint is tracking incorrectly, there will be negative loading through that joint which will undoubtedly exacerbate/worsen the symptoms being experienced. If normal joint function can be restored, the levels of wear on the joint will lessen and the pain resulting can often diminish.

Osteoarthritis & Treatment

Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.

Osteoarthritis symptoms can usually be managed, although the damage to joints can't be reversed. By keeping active and maintaining a healthy weight, you might slow progression of the disease and help improve pain and joint function.

Causes

 

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that enables nearly frictionless joint motion. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, bone will rub on bone.

Osteoarthritis has often been referred to as a "wear and tear" disease. But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.

Image by Anna Auza
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Risk factors

 

Factors that can increase your risk of osteoarthritis include:

  • Older age. The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age.

  • Sex. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it isn't clear why.

  • Obesity. Carrying extra body weight contributes to osteoarthritis in several ways, and the more you weigh, the greater your risk. Increased weight adds stress to weight-bearing joints, such as your hips and knees. Also, fat tissue produces proteins that can cause harmful inflammation in and around your joints.

  • Joint injuries. Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, can increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Even injuries that occurred many years ago and seemingly healed can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.

  • Repeated stress on the joint. If your job or a sport you play places repetitive stress on a joint, that joint might eventually develop osteoarthritis.

  • Genetics. Some people inherit a tendency to develop osteoarthritis.

  • Bone deformities. Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage.

  • Certain metabolic diseases. These include diabetes and a condition in which your body has too much iron (hemochromatosis).

Complications

 

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time, often resulting in chronic pain. Joint pain and stiffness can become severe enough to make daily tasks difficult.

Depression and sleep disturbances can result from the pain and disability of osteoarthritis.

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