Osteoarthritis – What is it, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Arthrosis – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments and much more is what you will learn from now on, so stay with us and discover everything about Arthrosis , a disease that kills more Brazilians every day. In addition, Osteoarthritis  (from the Greek artros, joint, and from the Latin ose, wear), also called osteoarthritis, is not a disease. Osteoarthritis  is an absolutely natural phenomenon – the wear and tear of the cartilage that covers our joints or joints – which is part of the global aging process of the human organism, such as wrinkles or so-called age spots on our hands.

What is Osteoarthritis:  Experts define Osteoarthritis  as a degenerative process that affects cartilage. As you can see in the image of the knee joint just above, cartilage acts as a shock absorber between two bones, preventing the structures from coming into contact and wearing out. Over time, as exemplified in the figure below, this cartilage undergoes natural wear and tear and the bones come into friction.

At the beginning of the wear process, there may be swelling and inflammation around the joint. The loss of natural cushioning also causes pain and decreases the joint’s range of motion, resulting in stiffness and loss of mobility.

Osteoarthritis is  not a systemic disease, that is, it does not spread through the body, but only affects joints where cartilage wears out. The joints most affected by osteoarthritis  are the knee, hips, spine, hands and toes.

Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is  the most common type of arthritis, and although they have similar symptoms, the two diseases differ from each other. While osteoarthritis  refers to the wear and tear of cartilage from overuse, arthritis is defined as a condition that causes inflammation and swelling in the joints.

Causes of Osteoarthritis:  Osteoarthritis  can  have many causes, which may include:

  • Natural joint wear and tear caused by natural aging.
  • Demanding jobs that overload some joints, such as maids, hairdressers or painters, for example.
  • Sports that repetitively overload certain joints or that require constant twisting movements such as football, baseball or American football for example.
  • Weakness in the upper  legs .
  • Activities in which it is necessary to squat or kneel repeatedly while lifting heavy objects.
  • Excess  weight , which causes greater wear and tear, especially on the joints of the  legs  or spine.
  • Trauma such as fractures, sprains or blows that affect the joint.

In addition, it is also important to take into account the family history of  Osteoarthritis  , since this  disease  has a certain genetic origin, not forgetting that this problem, although common at all ages, appears more easily after the age of 50 due to natural aging of the  body .

Osteoarthritis Symptoms:  Osteoarthritis  is  a  disease  of the joints. Unlike many other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus,  osteoarthritis  does not affect other organs in the  body .

  • The most common symptom of  osteoarthritis  is  pain  in the affected joints. Joint  pain  usually gets worse later in the day
  • swelling , heat, creaking and limitation of movement in the affected joints are also common symptoms
  • Joint stiffness can also occur after long periods of inactivity, for example, when the individual remains seated in a chair.

The intensity of  osteoarthritis  symptoms varies greatly from patient to patient. Some patients may be debilitated by their symptoms. On the other hand, others may have few symptoms despite joint degeneration seen on radiography. Symptoms can also be intermittent. It is not uncommon for patients with  osteoarthritis  of the hands and knees to go years without symptoms.

Knee  osteoarthritis  is often associated with obesity, a history of repeated injuries and/or joint surgery. In the knees,  Arthrosis  can lead to deviations popularly called  pliers legs  , when the deviation is outwards, or “X” knees, when the deviation is inwards.

Osteoarthritis  of the  spine causes  pain  in the neck, back, or lower back. Parrot beaks that form along the spine can irritate the spinal nerves, causing  pain , numbness, and tingling in the upper limbs or lower limbs, depending on their location. When it affects the fingers,  Arthrosis  causes the formation of hard nodules in the small joints, causing deformations. The appearance of these knots in the fingers helps in the diagnosis of  Osteoarthritis .

Risk Factors For Osteoarthritis:  Factors that increase the risk of developing  Osteoarthritis :

  • Heredity:  There is some evidence that genetic mutations can make an individual more prone to  osteoarthritis.
  • Weight:  Weight increases pressures on joints such as the knee.
  • Age:  Cartilage undergoes changes in its strength like any tissue in the human body over time.
  • Gender:  Women  over 50 years of age are more likely than men.
  • Trauma:  Previous knee injury, including sports injuries, can lead to  osteoarthritis .
  • High-impact sports:  Elite soccer players, long-distance runners, and tennis players have an increased risk of developing  osteoarthritis .
  • Other diseases:  Repeated episodes of gout or septic arthritis, metabolic disorders and some congenital conditions can also increase the risk of developing  osteoarthritis .

Osteoarthritis Treatment:  While it is not possible to completely cure the  condition once it develops, there are a lot of natural treatment options available that can cause a huge improvement in pain. These include: exercising and staying active, preventing  weight gain  and maintaining a  healthy body  weight , eating an anti-inflammatory diet  , and treating pain using physical therapy, sauna treatments, and massage therapy.

Stay Active:  While most people with  osteoarthritis  often have joint pain and some movement limitations, many find that they feel better and experience fewer symptoms overall when they keep moving. In fact,  exercise  is considered one of the most important treatments for the  condition .

Exercise  is important for  decreasing inflammation, increasing flexibility, strengthening muscles (including your  heart ), increasing circulation, and supporting a   healthy body weight . It helps keep joints and bones strong and flexible, improve  heart health  /cardiovascular fitness, extend joint range of motion, and move synovial fluid throughout  the body .

Also, let’s not forget about the mental benefits of  exercise . Getting regular exercise is a powerful way to decrease stress, improve your mood, control stress hormones like cortisol, and help you sleep better. Beneficial, and less painful, types of exercise include walking, swimming and water aerobics. If  exercise  is painful at first or you are just starting to become more active, your doctor and/or physical therapist can recommend specific types of safer exercise.

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