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What Is Osteoarthritis? And How It Can Be Treated

Did you know osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.?

According to recent research, osteoarthritis, also known as wear and tear, affects more than 27 million Americans. The study also indicates that one in two adults has osteoarthritis, and one in four adults will experience this joint disease by age 85.

There are many misconceptions about this disease but read on to learn more about osteoarthritis treatment.

What Is Osteoarthritis?

The term arthritis is often used to describe pain and swelling in the joints. The infection can develop in any joint in the body, such as the elbows, hands, knees, hips, and ankles, among other joints. The condition also deteriorates the protective layer of cartilage in the joints.

When cartilage begins to worsen and break down, a person experiences stiffness and pain in the joints leading to reduced movement, clicking, and catching, thus affecting someone’s quality of life. This is why osteoarthritis is considered the most common joint disease on a global scale and also the leading cause of disability, as previously stated. By extension, 10% of men and 13% of women above 60 experience arthritis annually, and the number of incidences increases yearly.

When this joint disease progresses to an advanced stage, it is called bone-on-bone arthritis.

How To Treat Osteoarthritis

For now, osteoarthritis does not have a cure, but treatment is done by relieving the symptoms caused by infection. In other words, osteoarthritis treatment focuses on reducing pain and enhancing a patient’s quality of life. A patient is advised to exercise regularly, as this is the primary modality employed in treating joint diseases.

What’s more, natural or prescription anti-inflammatory medications can go a long way in easing pain for extended periods. On the flip side, these drugs have adverse side effects, and it would be prudent to consult a physician before taking them. Injections such as corticosteroids and steroids reduce infection and remove edema in the affected joints.

The injections offer fast relief for two to four months. Gel and other injections provide short-term relief, but orthobiologic products are the most promising. The affected joint is repaired and restored with stem cells and PRP while reducing infection.

Another effective treatment used to help patients is arthroscopy surgery. These procedures are carried out with cameras to avoid cutting the patient open. However, the ultimate osteoarthritis treatment is to replace the affected joint.

Replacement of the joint takes place when it is completely worn down. The process involves cutting the joint open, removing the articulation, and replacing it with plastic or metal.

How To Prevent Osteoarthritis

Some recommended ways to avoid osteoarthritis include maintaining a healthy lifestyle like eating healthy foods and exercising at least 30 minutes, 3-5 days a week. It is worth noting that impactful exercises like jumping and running are not recommended. A patient should emphasize strengthening their muscles via cardiovascular and weight-based exercises

Control Osteoarthritis By Attending Regular Appointments With Your Healthcare Provider

Suppose you are experiencing pain in your joints. In that case, it’s time to find out whether osteoarthritis is the problem. If so, you can control the condition by attending regular appointments with your healthcare provider. They will ensure that you get the most suitable osteoarthritis treatment plan. Losing weight and protecting your joints can also help reduce joint pressure while still on medication.