Osteoarthritis is the most common of one of the 100 types of arthritis or joint pain and inflammation. It is also known as DJD or degenerative joint disease with radiographic evidence of 80 % of the population above 65 years being affected by it. But symptoms are seen only in 60 % of them. With millions being affected by this disease the most saddening fact is that 14 % of the youth population is also affected by DJD. The wear and tear of daily life are taking its toll even for the youth of today to be affected by DJD.
Brief about osteoarthritis
Degenerative joint disease or Osteoarthritis is a growing disorder that attacks the body’s cartilage or the tissue between bones. Cartilage is a firm, rubbery tissue that covers the end of the bones in the joints enabling the movement of the joints. It is also known as the shock absorber to change shape during compressions of movement. Science has still not developed a cure for DJD or to reverse the damage done. Only the pain can be relieved with treatment and lifestyle changes with proper food habits and exercises.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis
The symptoms may differ from person to person and the severity of their effect. The most typical signs are pain and stiffness. Join aching; soreness and bony enlargements in the middle and joints of the fingers are crystal clear symptoms of DJD.
Causes of osteoarthritis
Age is the main reason for DJD. With the wear and tear of daily life, the cartilage gets damaged to an extent of total dysfunction. Obesity is the other cause that makes cartilage loss earlier because of the overburden due to body weight. Injuries, heredity, over usage of certain joints among others, are the causes of osteoarthritis.
Treatment for osteoarthritis
The exact cure for osteoarthritis is not yet found because the damaged cartilage cannot be redone. This leads only to control the symptoms with medications, treatment, lifestyle changes, and food habits and in severe cases, surgery can be done.
- Weight Management – Make sure that you are keeping your ideal weight maintained. Excess weight can affect your weight-bearing joints such back, feet, knees etc.
- Stretching – This is also quite good for enhancing your flexibility so that pain will be reduced.
- Physical Activity – And it is one of the best ways to manage OA. You need to emphasize exercises that can increase blood flow and should also be simple such as walking around the neighbourhood, strolling etc.
- Positive Attitude – You also need to learn to stay happy so that can deal with this disease. You are not the only one has a disability it but there are many all across the world.
- Medications – There are pain and anti-inflammatory medications such as Analgesics, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Corticosteroids, a Hyaluronic acid which reduce pain. Make sure you have consulted with your doctor before taking medicines.
Billions are spent across the world on hospitalization charges and for the treatment of osteoarthritis. This is estimated by WHO to only grow in the coming years. Hence to live a healthy and happy life, proper lifestyle, maintain body weight with good food habits and exercise is the need of the hour.