What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is the most common form of arthritis, typically occurring in older adults, although it can also affect younger individuals. This condition occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time, leading to pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected joints.
Causes and Risk Factors
While the exact cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, several factors can contribute to its development. Aging is the primary risk factor, as the natural wear and tear on joints over time can lead to cartilage damage. Other factors that may increase the risk of osteoarthritis include obesity, previous joint injuries, genetics, and certain occupations that involve repetitive movements or heavy lifting.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis can vary depending on the affected joints, but common signs include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion. As the disease progresses, individuals may also experience a grating or cracking sensation when moving the affected joints. These symptoms may worsen with physical activity or after prolonged periods of inactivity.
Diagnosing osteoarthritis typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests. During a physical exam, the doctor will assess the range of motion in the affected joints and look for signs of swelling or tenderness. X-rays or MRI scans may be ordered to visualize the extent of cartilage damage and rule out other conditions.
While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, various treatment options can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These may include:
While osteoarthritis cannot always be prevented, there are steps individuals can take to reduce their risk or slow down its progression. These include:
In conclusion, osteoarthritis is a common degenerative joint disease characterized by cartilage damage, pain, and stiffness. While there is no cure, various treatment options can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and risk factors associated with osteoarthritis, individuals can take proactive steps to reduce their risk and maintain optimal joint health. Our commitment is to offer a complete educational journey. For this reason, we recommend exploring this external site containing extra and pertinent details on the topic. https://bracedirect.com/products/koalign-osteoarthritis-adjustable-rom-prescription-knee-brace, learn more and expand your knowledge!
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