What is osteoarthritis, its symptoms, and how to treat it ?

Widespread disease, osteoarthritis results in a degradation of the cartilage around the joints, and inflammation of the past. There is no treatment to cure this disease, only treatments that relieve its effects and the pain it has caused.


The factors for the onset of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that causes the degeneration of the joint cartilage, and inflammation of the synovial membrane, causing swelling of the joint. The flares are very painful, especially during movement, which requires at rest. This disease can therefore cause an important handicap, especially when it is localized in the joints of the knees, hips or hands.
Aging is the main risk factor, given that 80 % of people affected are over 65 years of age. Women and men are equally affected by the disease up to 55 years of age, but beyond that, the first are more likely to be affected. The family history also play an important role, in the same way that overweight in the elderly because excess weight puts more joints. Finally, certain physical activities and employment can have a negative impact, when they are accompanied by repetitive movements, trauma or frequent the port of heavy loads.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis ?

The pain associated with arthritis have the particularity to occur only when the joint is mobilized, even if their intensity can change during the day. A certain stiffness also affects the joint result of an episode of rest, especially in the morning. Sometimes osteoarthritis causes a deformation, when it affects the fingers or feet.

The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is done by the doctor by analyzing the episodes of pain : their location, their intensity, their duration. A first x-ray is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. It will be compared later to other radiologies in order to measure the evolution of the disease over time.

The care and treatment of osteoarthritis

Treatment of osteoarthritis begins with the adoption of a healthier lifestyle with a more balanced diet to lose the extra pounds, and the regular practice of a sport activity sweet to maintain joint flexibility and stimulate the muscles (walking, swimming, cycling). The activity must be compatible with the severity of the disease, and selected in connection with the treating physician. A rehabilitation with a physiotherapist is recommended to promote cartilage repair. Moreover, the port of walking aids or equipment can help relieve the pain and prevent deformities.

The physician also prescribes a drug treatment with analgesics to alleviate the pain, and anti-inflammatories to counter the swelling, sometimes associated with corticosteroid injections into the joint. If the disease of empire, the surgery is proposed with the placement of a prosthesis to replace the joints fail the knee or hip (the same type of prosthesis for a femoral neck fracture).

Diseases distinct, but neighboring, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis related in priority to the senior citizens, and can cause a loss of independence if nothing is done. Although the causes of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis differ significantly, the two diseases may, however, be prevented by the adoption of a healthier lifestyle.

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