In medical and clinical terminology, the word “osteo” means “bone” and the suffix “itis” indicates inflammation. Osteoarthritis, therefore, literally means “inflammation of the bones”. In reality, however, it is a disease of much larger scale and consequences. Out of over 100 forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis is considered the most common one followed by rheumatoid arthritis.
What happens in osteoarthritis?
Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of your body bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide over each other. It also helps absorb the shock of movement. Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that mostly affects cartilage. In osteoarthritis, the top layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together. The rubbing causes pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint. Over time, the joint may lose its normal shape. Also, bone spurs may grow on the edges of the joint. Bits of bone or cartilage can break off and float inside the joint space, which causes more pain and damage.
You must remember that unlike some other forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects only joints and not internal organs. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint. It occurs most often in the hands, knees, hips, and spine.
Who is at risk?
Osteoarthritis occurs most often in older people. Younger people sometimes get osteoarthritis, primarily from joint injuries.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis usually happens gradually over time. Some risk factors that might lead to it include:
- Being overweight
- Getting older
- Joint injury
- Joints that are not properly formed
- A genetic defect in joint cartilage
- Stresses on the joints from certain jobs and playing sports
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Warning signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis are:
- Stiffness in a joint after getting out of bed or sitting for a long time
- Swelling or tenderness in one or more joints
- A crunching feeling or the sound of bone rubbing on bone
How Is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed?
As no single test can diagnose osteoarthritis, most doctors use several methods to diagnose the disease and rule out other problems. These methods include:
- Medical history
- Physical exam
- X rays
- Other tests such as blood tests or exams of the fluid in the joints
How is osteoarthritis treated?
Doctors often combine treatments to fit a patient’s needs, lifestyle, and health. Osteoarthritis treatment plans can involve:
- Weight control
- Rest and joint care
- Nondrug pain relief techniques to control pain
- Complementary and alternative therapies (including herbal supplements such as Provailen)
Here, it must be worthy to note that certain herbal supplements such as Provailen are not only effective in treating and preventing future attacks of osteoarthritis but they are also very safe and affordable for use in long term to ensure complete control and cure in almost all kinds of arthritis.