Osteoarthritis symptoms

What are symptoms of osteoarthritis and what are the causes of osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis is a type of rheumatism. Is osteoarthritis preventable? How do you treat osteoarthritis?

What is osteoarthritis?

Arthritis rheumatism

Osteoarthritis is one of the many types of rheumatism. Osteoarthritis is a relatively common type of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis cartilage

Osteoarthritis is a disorder to the cartilage in joints. The disorder is more common in women than in men. When someone has osteoarthritis, it means that more joint cartilage disappears than the body produces. The cartilage becomes worse and, in some cases the whole cartilage disappears entirely. Also, the liquid which is present in the joints, also known as synovial fluid, decreases with osteoarthritis. Consequently, the joint where the liquid will decrease will turn less smoothly and absorbs shocks poorly. The deterioration of the cartilage and reduction of the fluid in the joints allow the bones to rub on each other, which is very painful.

Arthritis in animals

Osteoarthritis is also present in animals. For example, a horse, a dog or a cat could also develop osteoarthritis. Scientists have even found traces of osteoarthritis in dinosaurs.

In which joints does osteoarthritis occur?

Where does osteoarthritis occur? Osteoarthritis occurs in many joints. This page focuses on osteoarthritis in the hands, knee, neck, shoulders, hips, back, fingers and ankle.

Osteoarthritis hands

A spot where osteoarthritis occurs often are the hands. This is very inconvenient, because your hands are often used for a variety of daily activities. Osteoarthritis in the hands usually develops in three places. Osteoarthritis occurs in the base of the thumb, where the wrist meets the thumb. Osteoarthritis also occurs in the joint right before the top of the finger Furthermore osteoarthritis occurs in the joints that in the middle of a finger. Osteoarthritis could also develop by the wrist.

Osteoarthritis knee

Also the knee could develop osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis in the knee is often caused by an accident in which the knee is damaged to the cartilage of the knee. Osteoarthritis could also occur if the meniscus completely has been removed or if an infection occurs with a broken ligament.

Osteoarthritis neck

Osteoarthritis could also occur in the neck, for example, as a result of a whiplash injury.

Osteoarthritis shoulder

The shoulder can be affected by osteoarthritis. The shoulder can wear out, causing osteoarthritis to develop along with the painful consequences that come with it. Because of the osteoarthritis, the shoulder could start functioning very poorly, even at a young age. With the shoulders it is possible to take a shoulder prosthesis for the osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis hips

Osteoarthritis can develop in the hips. A hip consists out of a femoral head and a acetabulum. On the femoral head is a layer of cartilage. Once this little layer wears out, it will often cause hip osteoarthritis.

Arthritis back

Osteoarthritis in the back, the wearing out or change of the cartilage in the back joints. On the back joints is a layer of cartilage, which becomes thinner when you have osteoarthritis, but also decreases in smoothness. it is even possible that osteoarthritis in the back results in no cartilage at all. Back arthritis can form painfully protrusions on the back joints and the joints can become wider in the back.

Osteoarthritis fingers

Osteoarthritis can occur in the fingers. Osteoarthritis can particularly be found in the joint that is directly under the finger tip. Osteoarthritis can also occur in the middle joint of the finger.

Osteoarthritis ankle

It is also possible to suffer from arthritis in the ankle. Compared to osteoarthritis in the hip and knee osteoarthritis in the ankle is less common, but this does not detract that osteoarthritis in the ankle has very adverse consequences. Because you will get pain and stiffness in the ankle because of the osteoarthritis, it will be difficult to keep your balance and equilibrium. Compared to osteoarthritis in other joints is osteoarthritis in the ankle less painful .

Causes of osteoarthritis

The cause of osteoarthritis is unknown. However there are a number of factors that constitute risk factors that can lead to osteoarthritis. The risk factors for osteoarthritis is shown below:

Obesity

Although the cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, scientific evidence shows that being overweight or obesity often leads to osteoarthritis in knees, ankles and hips.

Trauma

Joints that are damaged, for example due to a sports injury develop osteoarthritis sooner.

Chronic overload joints

Also, chronic overload of the joints can lead to osteoarthritis. Think about heavy, intensive sports, but also heavy physical work, where you have to lift frequently and sometimes even in the wrong way.

Heredity

Heredity is also a factor for osteoarthritis. Although osteoarthritis eventually occurs in every human being to a certain degree, heredity can be a factor that accelerates the rate at which arthritis develops.

Inflammatory Reaction

Also, an inflammatory reaction in the body could cause osteoarthritis aside from the overloading of joints, or the damaging of joints. The deterioration of the cartilage in joints could accelerate due to an inflammatory reaction.

Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis

Below is an overview of the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis could cause symptoms such as pain, stiffness and rigidity, restriction of movement in joints, cracking sound when moving joints and joint inflammation.

Pain

Pain is one of the first symptoms of osteoarthritis. The pain occurs mainly with the movement and load of the affected joint. You often feel pain when you move a joint after a period of rest.

Stiffness and rigidity

People who suffer from arthritis will notice that the joint where arthritis occurs feels rigid and stiff when moving the joint. Especially in the morning the affected joints feel rigid and stiff, when they have not been moving for some time. If the osteoarthritis is severe, a crackling sensation could develop.

Movement restrictions joints

Painful, stiff and rigid joints with osteoarthritis results that the movement of a joints becomes difficult. Per joint, the difficulty of the movement may be different because also the muscles around the joints play a role.

Instability

Osteoarthritis in the spine, ankle, hips and knee for example, instability may occur due to movement restrictions of the joints.

Creaking sound when moving joints

Aside from a creaking sensation while moving joints with osteoarthritis can also occur something called crepitation. Crepitation means that movement of the affected joints causes a creaking sound. Creaking joints, however, do not only occur in joints with osteoarthritis but also in normal joints and the sound gives no indication on how bad the arthritis really is.

Joint inflammation

Osteoarthritis could cause, especially fingers and knees an inflammatory reaction. This inflammatory reaction in arthritic joints is often caused by changes in the cartilage and released cartilage particles. As a result of the inflammation, the joint becomes warm and swollen and causes pain.

Treating osteoarthritis

The problem with osteoarthritis is that the body tries to protect itself against the osteoarthritis by stiffness, pain and other restrictions, such as swollen joints, while not moving the joints is making the decease worse. Therefore, the joints have to move as much as possible at times when you are not in pain. It is wise not to overload the joints when you move them.

Exercise and sports osteoarthritis

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, it is wise to keep moving. It is advisable to swim, ride a bicycle or walk regularly for example. Sports such as fitness, dance and tai-chi also help with osteoarthritis. It is less sensible to play sports like soccer, tennis, squash or badminton because sudden movements can put intense pressure on the joints, which is not good for joints suffering from osteoarthritis.

Overload prevention

If you have osteoarthritis , it is important to avoid overloading. Despite that you must keep moving the joints with osteoarthritis, you should not be overload them. Unnecessary burdening of a joint with osteoarthritis is unwise. Do you suffer from arthritis in your right hand, then it maybe better to use your left hand for the job you want to perform. Do you feel pain when moving the affected joint, then it's better to burden the affected joint less next time. It is also wise not use you joints continuously and change your hand once in awhile, to prevent symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Good exercise and a good posture

A good posture and moving the right way is important to counteract osteoarthritis. Go to a physiotherapist to learn how you can move better and counteract osteoarthritis. 

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