The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition for joints. The condition affects about 27 million Americans. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but common places are the knees, hip, back, neck, and fingers.
Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage that sits between our bones. Typically, cartilage is used as a cushion for bones to move smoothly. Osteoarthritis breaks down the necessary cartilage that cushions the bones, which leads to pain. Cartilage is essential for bones to move comfortably and stay intact.
Later on, in osteoarthritis, bones will begin to rub against each other and chip. The chipped bone will float around called spurs. Moreover, your body will start the inflammatory process, which damages the cartilage even further. The pain will continue to be present as the bones rub against each other.
Osteoarthritis can affect anyone, but it appears more in people over the age of 65. Age is the most significant risk factor, but others include obesity, previous joint injury, and genetics. The condition varies in every person, but there are common symptoms that appear in most cases. Pain and stiffness in the joints are the most common symptoms.
Furthermore, the joints may swell after the area has been very active. Most importantly, these symptoms will not show up overnight. Pain, stiffness, swelling will show up gradually. Other issues may include a limited range of motion or cracking sounds when moving the joints.
Like many other rheumatologic conditions, osteoarthritis is a chronic disease. Patients will have to live with this condition for the rest of their life. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce symptoms and live a comfortable life. A patient’s health condition will play a large role in how the symptoms are managed.
Daily exercise helps keep weight off and reduces pain. Patients should also try to build muscle around the joints affected. They increased muscle mass will help decrease the amount of pain. Of course, reducing weight will also help reduce pain. Increasing flexibility also helps manage symptoms.
Take a yoga class to stretch out joints slowly. The improved flexibility will reduce the pain and stiffness. The doctor will prescribe medications to help reduce symptoms. There is a wide variety of medications, such as pills, creams, syrups, and lotions. Dr. Brionez will help you find the right medication for your case.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Brionez
If you are experiencing the symptoms of osteoarthritis, then schedule an appointment with Dr. Brionez. You can reach Advanced Rheumatology of Houston by calling (281) 766-7886. She can help diagnose and manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis. You do not have to suffer from the pain and stiffness of this condition.