Do you suffer from stiffness in the joints, nagging pain or a slight swelling that pops up repeatedly without any reason? Don’t ignore it. You might be suffering from arthritis – and it could get worse if you do not take the necessary steps to avoid it. Of the many types of arthritis afflicting the masses, Osteoarthritis, also known as wear and tear arthritis is the most common. While Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, it commonly occurs in the weight-bearing joints namely, the hips, knees or the spine.
The fact that it is one of the top 5 chronic diseases in India just adds to the magnitude. So, what are the symptoms that you have to be on a lookout for?
Pain in the joints, stiffness, tenderness, loss of flexibility, grating sensation, bone spurs, and swelling could signal the start of osteoarthritis. It may develop very slowly and gradually worsen over time leading to bigger complications. Joint aches or soreness during activities or long periods of inactivity and frequent joint swellings also indicates that you could be at risk.
What are the causes of Osteoarthritis?
Our body is a complex machine. The cartilage, a firm rubbery material shields the ends of the bones to reduce friction between the joints. Osteoarthritis causes these cartilages to become stiff and lose its elasticity making it more prone to damage. The deterioration of the cartilage causes the bones to rub against each other leading to an increase in pain.
Who is at risk
Many factors come into play here. In many cases, people inherit the defect from their predecessors. Obesity is another major risk. Injuries too contribute to the speeding up of osteoarthritis.
Complications & diagnosis
Being a degenerative disease, Osteoarthritis worsens over time if you do not keep it in check. At KIMS, we follow a simple diagnosis and treatment process. Our experts listen patiently to your symptoms. This is usually followed up by a physical exam including X-rays or an MRI and blood tests. Treatment is prescribed once the diagnosis is made.
When to see a doctor
You have to schedule a visit to the doctor when the pain begins. Do not wait for the pain to worsen before you consult a doctor. Exercise, medicines and constant care is required so that you can lead a normal life.