Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects your joints. It is also known as arthrosis or osteoarthrosis and has also been referred to as degenerative joint disease or simply “wear and tear”.
Although sufferers may suffer a variety of symptoms, the main symptoms are:
- Pain – this can worsen when you move your joint or at the end of the day. If you have severe osteoarthritis the pain may occur more often
- Stiffness – Although you may have stiffness in your joints after rest, this usually becomes easier as you get moving.
- A grating or grinding sensation – you may creak or crunch as you move
- Swelling – the swelling can be either hard or soft and the muscles around your joint may look thin or wasted.
- Not being able to use your joint normally – Your joint may not be able to move as freely or as far as normal. Sometimes it may give way and this is because either your muscles have weakened or your joint has become less stable.
When a joint develops osteoarthritis some of the cartilage covering the ends of the bone gradually becomes thin and roughens and the bone underneath thickens. Your body’s repair system may be quite good and these changes may not cause any pain or problems however, in severe cases this is not the case.
Traditional medical treatments for Osteoarthritis
- Capsaicin Cream can be used as an effective painkiller
- GP prescribed stronger pain killers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Surgery such as hip or knee replacements when the pain is severe or it is causing mobility problems
- Steroid injections may be prescribed by your doctor and these are given directly into the affected joint.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may help with pain relief although research on evidence on this is mixed.
Why do people get Osteoarthritis?
Many factors contribute to your risk of getting arthritis and it is often a combination of these that lead to the condition, these factors include:
Age • gender • obesity • joint injury • joint abnormalities • genetics • other joint disease
All information relating to Osteoarthritis has been sourced from http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/