We have time to update our gadgets but what about our body, have you ever thought about it?. In this technology-struck era, people develop early symptoms of joint pain, swelling, stiffness and have to consult their orthopedic even before their 40’s. These are symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA). It affects more than 1 in 12 people over the age of 60.
Osteoarthritis is a common condition affecting any joint in the body. It mainly affects the joint which bears more weight, hence knee and ankle joints are affected. As the entire world is dancing to the tunes of gadgets, we keep working for our hands continuously hence hands are also affected the most. Usually, a healthy joint is where two bones meet together. They are covered with a protective tissue called “Cartilage”. In osteoarthritis, there is wear and tear of this cartilage, which results in pain and stiffness to the joint.
Almost all of us develop osteoarthritis in some of our joints as we get older.
The exact cause of osteoarthritis is not yet known. The following are the risk factors that aggravate the pace of this disease.
1) Age: OA usually starts from late 40 years. As we age there is weight gain, muscle weakness which turns to be icing on the cake in this condition.
2) Gender: It is more severe in males than in females.
3) Obesity: Overweight is an important factor causing osteoarthritis.
4) Injury: Injury to the joint accelerates the risk of OA.
5) Genetic factor: Researchers claim that mutations of single genes affect a protein called collagen. This can cause osteoarthritis at an early age.
6) Joint disease: Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and gout can worsen symptoms of osteoarthritis.
7) Climatic conditions: Patients with OA of climatic changes worsen their pain. Hence, weather conditions aggravate symptoms of the disease.
Pain is the most common symptom caused due to the roughness of the cartilage of the joint
Tenderness due to inflammation of an affected joint
Stiffness is seen due to a change in the shape of the joint
A crackling sound in the joint which is known as crepitus is seen in many
There is inflammation seen on the tissues of the joint
There is wear and tear of the cartilage
There may be swelling seen due to fluid accumulation in the joint
If the hip joint is affected there will be difficulty in standing or sitting position
When one observes symptoms of osteoarthritis consult your doctor for the same. There are medications to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis. But avoid self-medicating oneself.