Osteoarthritis affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage, cushioning the ends of the bones, wears down over time.
Although this disease can damage any joint, the most commonly affected joints are the knees, hands, hips, and spine.
Signs & Symptoms
Signs & symptoms of osteoarthritis may develop slowly and worsens over time. Examples include :
- Pain: During movements, the affected joint might get hurt.
- Swelling: Inflammation around the joint causes this condition.
- Loss of flexibility: The joint is unable to move.
- Crepitus: Grating, crackling as well as popping sounds sensation occurs due to presence of air under the skin or joint. Roughening of the normally smooth surfaces inside the joint consequently, cause this sensation.
If you have any of the symptoms above, make an appointment to see a doctor.
As you get older, you are at a higher risk of osteoarthritis. Women, however, are more likely to get it.
Moreover, being obese adds stress to the joint and thus, may increase the risk this disease.
This disease can also be hereditary.
Over time, osteoarthritis may worsen. Joint pain and stiffness might become severe enough to make daily tasks difficult. Hence, this may cause some people to be unable to perform daily tasks.
Can It be Prevented?
Osteoarthritis can’t be fully prevented. However, you can try reducing the risk by reducing stress on the joints. For example:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
Extra weight can cause stress on the joints. Additionally, extra fat will also cause changes in the cartilage.
- Control your blood sugar
High blood sugar level increases the risk for osteoarthritis.
- Be active every day
Exercise not only can prevent joint problems by keeping joints from getting stiff, but it can also keep muscles strong.