b>Osteoarthritis: Cause and Symptoms
In our last article, we briefly discussed Osteoarthritis and
Rheumatoid Arthritis. This article will take a close look at the
cause, symptoms, and current treatment used for Osteoarthritis.
So let's take a second look at what Osteoarthritis is.
Osteoarthritis is known by many as "wear and tear" Arthritis. It
is one of the most common forms of Arthritis and is the result
of cartilage wearing away from the joints. This cartilage is
responsible for the smooth gliding of joints, and once it begins
to deteriorate, the patient is left with pain, joint swelling
and inflammation, and even deformity.
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Osteoarthritis patients usually state that their pain is
greatest during times of movement, and then lessens
significantly during periods of rest. Osteoarthritis affects
many more women than men. There is an estimated 24 million
Osteoarthritis sufferers in the United States and roughly 74%
The cause of Osteoarthritis is not known, yet doctors have many
suspicions. Some of the symptoms of Osteoarthritis boggle the
minds of scientists and more research needs to take place to
determine the actual root of the disease. For instance, X-rays
can tell that Arthritis is present, yet the amount of pain
reported by Osteoarthritis sufferers differs from the results of
the X-ray. Though many people refer to Osteoarthritis as the
"wear and tear" disease, evidence shows that this disease and
its mysterious cause are not as simple as that definition. In
fact, "wear and tear" does not take place in just one joint, but
affects joints simultaneously throughout the body. An example of
this, is that sufferers with Osteoarthritis of the knee, offer
suffer Osteoarthritis in the hand. Also, doctors have noted that
patients don't suffer with Osteoarthritis on just one side of
the body (as would be expected due to wear and tear) but because
it seems to affect the body concurrently, it appears that
Osteoarthritis is a systematic disease affecting all of the
cartilage at once.
One suggestion is that Osteoarthritis is a result of cartilage
that has stopped functioning at optimum level. Cartilage is
continuously undergoing a process where it is broken down, then
rebuilt. Some theories state that this process becomes
unbalanced and out of hand. This is referred to as "End Stage
Osteoarthritis." It is at this stage that joint pain and
impairment begin to manifest. There are many natural remedies
that show promise in the management of Osteoarthritis pain and
symptoms. Look for future articles in our Arthritis Series that
will offer natural remedies that may prevent enzymes from
Some other ideas that point to the cause of Osteoarthritis
' Previous Sports related or Joint Injuries ' Genetically
Inherited (it appears that Osteoarthritis runs in families) '
Repeated Occurrences of Bleeding into a Joint (as occurs with
Hemophilia and other diseases) ' Repeated Occurrences of Gout
and Gout like Diseases ' Avascular Necrosis- this is a condition
where blood near a bone is cut off, this leads to bone death as
well as joint damage. Avascular Necrosis typically afflicts the
hip joint. ' Previous Rheumatoid Related Illness- such as
Rheumatoid Arthritis can lead to chronic inflammation of the
joints. ' Osteoporosis-due to the high risk of bone fractures
and injury, Osteoarthritis may develop in joints. ' Metabolic
Disorders- for example, Hemochromatosis can result in high
levels of Iron being deposited in the joints ' Joint
Infection-It is believed that cartilage may deteriorate in
people who have defects in their cartilage and joints.
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We've discussed the potential causes of Osteoarthritis, now it
is time to look at the various symptoms of Osteoarthritis.
The symptoms of Osteoarthritis include:
' Joint Pain- this tends to be worse when rising in the morning
' Joint Swelling and Inflammation- this occurs during periods of
activity ' Feeling a "Grinding" Sensation when a Joint is moved
' Loss of Mobility and Flexibility
There is no sure way to prevent Arthritis in any of its forms.
There are however some things that you can do to help lower your
risk of developing Osteoarthritis or any other type of
Arthritis. Some of the preventative methods that you may add
to your lifestyle today include:
' Maintain an Ideal Body Weight ' Take steps to prevent the
development of Osteoporosis. Some of these include taking
adequate Vitamin D and Calcium, exercising, and taking
medication if needed. ' Do your best to prevent injuring your
bones and joints -try to avoid accidents such as sports related,
implementing joint protection by using splints and braces.
About the author:
Written by John
Robben of Ultimate Water Massage, Inc.
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