Osteoarthritis: Understanding And Managing Joint Health

Do you have pain in your joints when you move? Is your joint stiff and starts to swell in the morning or when you sit for a long time? Well then, It is time to see a Rheumatologist, since these may be signs that you have Osteoarthritis.

Usually it can affect any joint in our body, however it is most likely to affect those joints that bear our weight like our hands, spines, knees and feet. Keep on reading to find out more about it.

What is Osteoarthritis?

The most common type of arthritis is Osteoarthritis also known as degenerative joint disease which affects millions of people worldwide. In a healthy joint, there is a smooth and rubbery tissue called cartilage at the end of the bones, which covers the surface and helps the joints to move against each other.

When osteoarthritis is developed in a bone, then the cartilage wears down becoming thin and the surface becomes rougher. This causes your bones to rub against each other resulting in pain, stiffness and swelling .

Symptoms

Symptoms of osteoarthritis develop slowly and overtime they can become worse. Here are some the most common symptoms:

  • Pain in the joint which is affected, especially when you move around
  • Stiffness in the joint, in the morning or after sitting for a long time
  • Swelling or tenderness around the joint
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Feeling as if your joint is not strong and stable.

This condition may affect different body parts in different way:

  • Knees: The feeling of grating or scraping when you move your knee
  • Fingers: The fingers may become stiff, painful and swollen, at times you may also develop bumps on your finger joints.
  • Feet: soreness and pain in the base of the big toe, around the joints and in the heel.
  • Hips: Pain or stiffness in the hip, groin or the lower back.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of osteoarthritis are:

  • Age: The risk of it increases with age.
  • Obesity: being overweight or carrying extra weight can increase the risk of this condition, like the more you weigh, the higher the risk.
  • Joint injury: Injuries that usually occurred playing sports or caused by an accident, even the injuries that might’ve been healed can also increase the risk of osteoarthritis
  • Genetics: people who have family members that suffer from OA can also develop it.

How can it be prevented?

Though, osteoarthritis can not be cured however there are some things that can help to prevent it:

  1. Exercise regularly
    Being obese can put extra weight on your joints. Exercising can not only help you lose weight but also help the muscles around your joints to become strong.
    The safest exercises are those which do not require putting weight on your joint like swimming, bicycling and other water exercises. Don’t forget to talk to your healthcare provider first, for guidance for a safe way to lose weight.
  2. Protect joints
    It is very important to take care of your joints, since joint injuries can increase the risk of getting OA. Make sure to warm up before you start to exercise, this will prepare your muscles for any activity, preventing injuries.
    Be careful with your daily activities like carrying bags of groceries or moving heavy things around, use correct exercise equipment along with proper protective gear which is comfortable to avoid any complications.
  3. Control sugar level
    Many people suffer from Diabetes and high blood sugar levels, which can make your OA worse. It is necessary to check your blood sugar levels regularly and keep it in control.
  4. Healthy diet:
    Eating a healthy diet with proper nutrients which include fruits, vegetables and wholegrains in your diet, will help you maintain a healthy weight.

Wrap up

Osteoarthritis has a great impact on people’s lives. It makes movement difficult and painful which can stop you from participating in activities, whether it is your home or work. If you are looking for a place to treat it, fear not! Rheumatology Care Of North Houston is just the place you are looking for. Our experts will take care of all of your Rheumatology needs and provide the best service possible.
Visit our website for more information. You can also call us at (832) 532-9779.

Disclaimer - Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.
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