Osteoarthritis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Osteoarthritis is a joint disease caused by a decrease in joint function. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs due to thinning of pads on the joints, causing pain, stiffness and swelling.

Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage protection fluid at the ends of your bones gets less and less from year to year. Although osteoarthritis can damage various joints in the body, this disease often attacks the joints in the knees, hands, pelvis, and spine.

Osteoarthritis often worsens over time. if you stay active, maintain weight, and follow a healthy lifestyle, then the progression of this disease can be inhibited and will improve joint function and pain can be reduced.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Symptoms of osteoarthritis generally develop slowly and get worse with time. The severity of symptoms and the location of the attack can vary from person to person. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • The joint feels pain when moved.
  • The joint feels swollen and loose when you try to press it.
  • There is joint stiffness when you wake up in the morning or after the joints have not been moved for some time.
  • It feels broken or not flexible when using joints.
  • The presence of spurs on the bone. It is an additional bone growth on the tip, feels hard when pressed, and can affect the affected joint.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage (cartilage) which is a bearing at the end of the bone gradually decreases in quality. Cartilage is soft and slippery tissue that softens joint movements. In osteoarthritis, the smooth surface of the cartilage becomes rough. Finally, when the cartilage becomes rough and eroded, then the bones with bone will then rub together.

The following are conditions that increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis.

  • Old age . The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age
  • Sex . Women are more likely to experience osteoarthritis, although the reason is unclear.
  • Excessive weight will cause osteoarthritis. The joint will carry heavier weights, such as joints on the knee and pelvis. In addition, fat tissue will produce certain proteins that damage and make inflammation in the joints.
  • Joint injury . Joint trauma such as an accident or sports injury can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Some people inherit the tendency of osteoarthritis due to a family history of this disease.
  • Bone deformity . Some people are born with joint or cartilage malformations, which increases the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Other diseases . Having diabetes or rheumatism like gout and rheumatoid arthritis can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.

Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis

During a physical exam, the doctor will properly examine the affected joint, check for swelling, redness, pain, and range of motion of the joint. The doctor will also recommend X-ray and MRI examinations.

  • On X-ray examination, the cartilage cannot be seen, but cartilage loss will appear as a shortening of the space between the bones in the joint. X-rays will also show if there is additional hard bone growth such as spurs around the joint. Some people can have evidence of osteoarthritis before the onset of symptoms with X-ray examination.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an examination that uses radio waves and magnetic waves to produce detailed images of bones and soft tissues, including cartilages. MRI is not often needed to diagnose osteoarthritis but can help provide information for complex or difficult cases.

Laboratory Check

  • Blood test . Blood tests can help find other causes of joint pain, such as joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Analysis of joint fluid . Doctors can do this by using needles to take joint fluid from the affected joint. Examination of joint fluid can determine if there is inflammation there and whether joint pain is caused by gout or from infection.

Osteoarthritis Complications

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time. Joint pain and joint stiffness will worsen and it will feel more difficult to carry out daily activities. Some people can’t work too long. When joint pain is too heavy, the doctor will recommend joint replacement surgery.

Osteoarthritis Therapy and Medication

Until now, there is no effective cure for osteoarthritis, but the right lifestyle can help reduce pain and maintain joint motion. Symptoms of osteoarthritis can be alleviated with the following treatments:

  • Acetaminophen can relieve pain, but does not reduce inflammation (inflammation). This drug shows effectiveness in osteoarthritis with mild to moderate pain. An excessive dose of acetaminophen can cause liver damage, so consult a doctor to get this recipe.
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) . NSAIDs can relieve pain and can also reduce inflammation. NSAIDs that can be consumed are ibuprofen, naproxen, or a stronger NSAID that can be prescribed by a doctor. NSAIDs can cause stomach pain, ear problems, cardiovascular problems, bleeding problems, and kidney and liver damage. These drugs should not be used in people over the age of 65 years and in people with gastritis because of the risk of liver bleeding.

Although osteoarthritis cannot be prevented, sufferers can minimize the potential for experiencing more severe conditions or complications that can cause paralysis by doing several things, such as: maintaining ideal body weight, regular exercise to strengthen muscles and joints.

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