Manage Osteoarthritis With Lifestyle Changes, Medication
Dr K Mukunth
October 12, is World Arthritis Day.
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, affects the joints and occurs, usually, in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.
This is caused when cartilage that cushions the ends of the bone breaks down, causing pain. Over time, bones break down and develop growths called spurs. Sometimes, small pieces of bone or cartilage chip off and cause inflammation in the tissues surrounding them. In severe cases, cartilage completely wears down and bones rub against one another causing severe pain.
Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis
Chronic pain – when walking, moving from sitting to standing
Stiffness – especially when you wake up
Tenderness – caused by inflammation
Limited movement – may not be able to move joint fully
Grating sensation – when bone rubs against bone
Bone spurs – bulging hard lumps near joints
What Causes Osteoarthritis
Genetics - Osteoarthritis is thought to run in families
Age - As a person grows older, cartilage deteriorates with use over time
Gender - It occurs more often in women than men
Repetitive activity - May happen earlier for people whose job requires doing the same activity continuously for a long time
Obesity- People who are heavier put more stress on their joints, wearing down the cartilage
Joint injuries – People who play sports are more prone to it. It can also be caused by trauma to the joints in an accident
Bone deformities – People who have malformed bones may be prone to it
Maintenance and Treatment
The usual course is to manage the disease as long as possible by lifestyle changes and non-invasive methods:
When To Consider Joint Replacement Surgery?
If the illness reaches a point where these non-invasive remedies don’t work, your doctor may suggest a joint replacement surgery for the affected area. This option will offer you full mobility once more and you can live a better quality of life after the surgery.
- Dr K Mukunth, MBBS, MS (ORTHO), FIA (GER), EXE.HIP.FEL (UK) is a well-known orthopaedic surgeon with Kauvery Hospital, Chennai