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Osteoarthritis. By: Tilly Paterson and Amanda Elsaesser. Osteoarthritis — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes and treatment of osteoarthritis, including knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people around the world.

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis

By:

Tilly Paterson and Amanda Elsaesser


  • Osteoarthritis — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes and treatment of osteoarthritis, including knee osteoarthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people around the world.

  • Often called wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time.

  • While osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips.


Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

Pain. Your joint may hurt during or after movement.

Tenderness. Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.

Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.

Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.

Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.

Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms


Medications time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve, others). Stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription. NSAIDs can cause stomach upset, ringing in your ears, cardiovascular problems, bleeding problems, and liver and kidney damage. Older people are at highest risk of complications.

Therapy

Work with a physical therapist. Ask your doctor for a referral to a physical therapist. The physical therapist can work with you to create an individualized exercise regimen that will strengthen the muscles around your joint, increase the range of motion in your joint and reduce your pain.

Try braces or shoe inserts. Consider trying splints, braces, shoe inserts or other medical devices that can help reduce your pain. These devices can immobilize or support your joint to help you keep pressure off it.


  • Maintain your ideal body weight. time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include: Excess weight puts stress on your joints, especially your hips, knees, back, and feet.

  • Maintain good posture. Good posture protects your joints from excessive pressure, especially your neck, back, hips, and knees.

  • Do a variety of physical activity. Alternate periods of heavy activity with periods of rest. For example, if you do weight training one day, do aerobic exercise the next day. Repetitive stress on joints for long periods of time can cause the excessive wear and tear that can lead to osteoarthritis.

  • Pay attention to pain. If you have joint pain, don't ignore it. Pain after activity or exercise can be an indication you have overstressed your joints and that they need to rest.

  • Forget the weekend warrior. Start new activities slowly and safely until you know how your body will react to them. This will reduce the chance of injury.

  • Avoid injury to joints. Wear proper safety equipment. Don't leave helmets and wrist pads at home. Make sure your safety gear is comfortable and fits appropriately.

Prevention


HoPE time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

You

LEARNED

sOMETHING

Work-Site

http://www.brighamandwomens.org/

http://www.arthritis.org/prevent-osteoarthritis.php

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001460/


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