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What Is Osteoarthritis?

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Osteoarthritis is one of the common types of arthritis that affects the human body. Millions of people around that world are suffering from osteoarthritis. This condition occurs due to the eventual wearing of the protective cartilages that cushions the end of the bones. When the cartilage breaks down, it causes the bones to rub together and result in joint pain, stiffness, and other complications.

Osteoarthritis can affect people of all ages but it is more common in older adults. It is one of the leading causes of disability among older adults. The condition is also called a degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis. According to statistics, more than 30 million people in the United States are suffering from osteoarthritis.

Causes Of Osteoarthritis

The cartilage is a protective tissue that covers the end of the bones. Over time, the cartilage breaks down due to wear and tear. When this happens the bones will start to rub together causing pain and stiffness at the joints. Therefore, the older you are, the wear and tear on your joints will also be more.

Joint damage can also be caused by past injuries, such as dislocated joints, torn cartilage, ligament injuries, etc. Some of the factors that increase the risk of osteoarthritis are sex, age, obesity, genetics, repeated stress on joints, certain deformities, etc.

Studies are showing that women are more likely to be affected by osteoarthritis. When you are obese, it adds extra weight to your bones and increases stress to weight-bearing bones. Osteoarthritis is often seen in athletes or people who do physical labor.

Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis

Even though osteoarthritis can affect any joints in our body, it mostly affects hips, hands, knees, spine, and fingertips. The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain, stiffness, inflammation, tenderness, etc.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition. There are five stages of osteoarthritis and many people who suffer from severe osteoarthritis will have increased swelling and inflammation, and severe pain. Decreased mobility is also one of the main symptoms of severe osteoarthritis.

Treatment Of Osteoarthritis

Most of the treatments for osteoarthritis aim at joint pain relief. There are several medications that help to relieve the pain and swellings caused by osteoarthritis. The most common one is Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen. However, many people now prefer herbal and natural ways to treat the condition.