If you’ve never heard of osteoarthritis or want to know more about this condition, this post will fill you in. It’s a condition that affects a person’s joints, and is the most common type of arthritis reported in the UK. A total of 1 million people see their GP about this condition every year, so many people suffer with this kind of arthritis. If you suspect you have osteoarthritis, or simply want to know more, then read on:
The Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
The symptoms of this condition greatly depend on the person who has it. Some people may have a severely damaged joint but no symptoms, while in other cases the symptoms may be severe without affecting the joint. These symptoms include:
Mild inflammation in and around the joints.
Any damage to cartilage. Cartilage is the strong, smooth surface that lines the bones and helps joints to move more easily.
Bony growths that sometimes develop around the edge of the joints.
These symptoms can lead to pain, stiffness, and difficulty doing certain activities. You might notice changes in the shape of your hands, fingers, feet, toes, and maybe even other joints. You’ll usually find osteoarthritis mostly in the knees, hips, spine, and small joints of the hands and big toe. However, any joint can be affected.
Who Can Get Osteoarthritis?
The people who most commonly develop osteoarthritis are usually over 50, and it occurs in women more often than men. Some people simply accept this form of arthritis as a sign that they’re getting older, but this isn’t always true. For example, in some x-rays you may be able to see osteoarthritis, but it may not be affecting the joints or causing pain.
It is possible for younger people to develop osteoarthritis, usually as a result of an injury or joint condition.
How to Manage Osteoarthritis
Although there isn’t a cure, the symptoms can be eased in several ways. Mild symptoms can even be managed with something as simple as exercise or wearing the right kind of shoes. Other treatment options include:
Medication like painkillers.
In small cases, surgery may be the answer.
As this is a long term condition, it’s very important you get the help needed so you can cope with it. You may end up with reduced mobility, so advice and support may be important to you. You should also make a conscious effort to look after your own health and well being. You should take your medicine when needed, and live a healthy lifestyle where you can. Your GP should be able to give you all the advice you need. It may also be beneficial to you to speak to people who have the same condition, so you can share worries, thoughts, and stories.
By making an effort to take special care of your health and getting advice/support where you need it, there’s no need for your life to be hindered too much by osteoarthritis!