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June 02, 2021 2 min read

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and tends to occur later in life as a degenerative joint disorder  caused by damage of the joint cartilage, resulting in joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and tenderness. However, although once thought of as just the result of wear-and-tear, the disease is not solely due to cartilage damage but also a failure of the entire joint itself. Read on…

What Happens in the Joint With Osteoarthritis?

Inflammation is the body’s initial defense to stress and injury, and the major cause of pain in patients with osteoarthritis.

In a normal joint, there is a balance between the formation and breakdown of sodium hyaluronate. In OA, the breakdown occurs faster than production, making the synovial fluid more watery and thin, and so reducing its lubricating and shock-absorbing function. These changes expose the cartilage to mechanical and inflammatory damages. When inflammation occurs, the body releases inflammatory substances into the synovial fluid, resulting in the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

All joints of the body can be affected with osteoarthritis, but the most frequently involved are the shoulders, hips, and knees.

Is Osteoarthritis an Age-Related Joint Disorder?

OA gradually develops as people get older and is mostly experienced by older adults over the age of 60. However, OA may also occur in younger individuals who have been exposed to joint overload. Some of the common factors which may predispose to the wear and tear of the joints include:

  • Sports associated with heavy lifting and frequent jumping
  • Jobs related to lifting or carrying heavy loads
  • Being overweight
  • Joint inflammation
  • Abnormal joint development
  • Incorrect joint alignment

Three Stages Of Osteoarthritis

  1. A joint stiffness sets in after a period of inactivity but resolves once the joint is moved.
  2. As the joint disease progresses, movements become extremely limited and continually painful, with gritty sensation. Joint function greatly impaired.
  3. Joint pain persists even at rest.

Inflammation and swellings present may be present at each of the stages of osteoarthritis.

The Takeaway:

It’s being stressed repeatedly, physical activity is the best remedy and preventive strategy for the symptoms and associated effects of osteoarthritis. While pain medications can provide pain relief, exercises can keep your joints strong and mobile!!!

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