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Osteoarthritis In A Flash

Updated on September 26, 2015

Introduction to Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can be well defined to us as a Chronic, Progressive, Non-inflammatory, Idiopathic, Musculoskeletal or Joint disease.

There irony is the disease is categorized as a non-inflammatory disease but still it can cause the inflammation of joints. This is because the Inflammation in this case arises after wear and tear of the cartilage that covers the end of the bone in a joint. The disease usually affects mostly joints of the; hips, knees, spine and hands in Most Cases.

Let us begin by venturing into the anatomy of the joint below.

The Anatomy of the Joint

The joint is a part of the body where two or more bones attach or articulates.

There can be movable or immovable joints. Movable joints are the majority in number and they usually have a ball and socket structure for easier articulation and easier movement while the immovable joints are like the sutures joints found on the skull.

Parts that surrounds the bone and on the bone include;

  • The immediate Muscles that help hold the joint in place and Help move it around when there is need to. The muscles attach from bone to bone by help of tendon which mostly is fount attaching the muscle to the Bone that is adjacent.
  • The Bursa which is silky, cushion-like a fluid-filled cavity that is mostly found between the bones forming a joint and the muscles or tendon above it. Its function is to allow a smooth gliding, lubricating motion between the joint bones and the muscle or tendon above them.
  • The Enthesis which is an attachment of the ligament for bones that form a joint.
  • We have the Synovium which is a membrane covering that contains the synovial fluid within the synovial cavity that is formed by it.
  • There are two epiphyseal plates that articulate to form a joint and at the surface of each plates we have an articular cartilage.

Causes and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The diseases is mostly caused by the factors that surrounds us on a day to day livelihood basis. In some cases it may be inherited as in genetic and in this case it is usually more common among the females. The main causes can be due to;

  • being overweight or obese
  • Getting Older
  • Malformation of Joints
  • Joint Injury
  • genetic joint defect especially in women
  • stress on the joints due to certain jobs and sports

Those are the main causes of Osteoarthritis and below are the MAIN Symptoms.

  • pain especially in the joints affected mostly at night
  • severe pain while working I.e. lifting heavy loads and playing certain sports.
  • stiffness of the joints
  • grating or grinding sound around the joints
  • sometimes swelling around the joint may be present
  • Not being able to use the joint as usual

Insight on Osteoarthritis

Do you know who has ever Suffered from Osteoarthritis or who suffers from the disease and what approach they usually take to treat it ?

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Diagnosis Of Osteoarthritis

Once you notice the above Symptoms, consult your doctor or GP so as to make a clear verification of what you might be suffering from.

After describing the pain incurred in the specific joints and the threshold of it; he doctor will then redo a thorough physical examination to rule out any other form of arthritis especially rheumatoid arthritis which can also be detected using physical signs.

The doctor will check for Nodes that appear on fingers especially around the distal interphalangeal joints (DIPs) also described as Herberden's Nodes and the proximal interphalangeal joints (PIPs) also known as Bouchard's Nodes. He will also check for a bulby feeling around the affected joints

He will also ask you some questions regarding your family background if anyone had the disease before among your immediate family members because it can be genetic.

He will then take an X-ray to examine the inflamed joints closer especially to check if they are asymmetrical in most cases and also whether there is a decreased joint space due to the degeneration of cartilage.

He might do a blood test in which the test usually shows normal rate of ESR and amount WBC.

NOTE; It mostly occurs in older and obese people, there is absence of constitutional fever or malaise.

Controlling and Treatment for Osteoarthritis.

There is no a way of prevention as such when it comes to Osteoarthritis but the most significant way to prevent occurrence of the disease is by;

  • Maintaining a healthy diet that does not lead to diseases like gout which may weaken your bones
  • Trying to maintain a fit body
  • Taking care of your joints generally
  • NOTE: I f one has already contracted the disease; then he or she has to have therapy sessions for reduction of pain; There are also medications I.e. NSAIDS (Non-steroids anti-inflammatory Drugs) which helps reduce the pain they include Ibuprofen, diclofenac, ketoprofen, meloxicam and celocoxib that can be administered to the patients to prevent further inflammation after cartilage degeneration. However some NSADIs drugs are not recommended for people with heart problems, asthma, angina, or stroke. Doctors always recommend a drug known as proton pump inhibitor (PIP) to take at the same time for prevention of the breaking of the stomach wall lining by the NSAIDs which have an effect of the stomach wall lining.
  • Some painkillers such as paracetamol can also be helpful in relieving pain to begin with.
  • Opioids such as codeine can also be administered if the paracetamol is not effective and there is increased pain. The opioids can cause side effects such as nausea, drowsiness and constipation so for these case a laxative such as dulcolax is prescribe alongside the opioids to help with the constipation. NOTE; Codeine is found in paracetamols common preparation in the form of co-codamols.
  • Corticosteroid injections given on the joints can also be effective but have strict rules for prescriptions in that one should have it injected in their joints three times a year. The injection type is called intra-articular injection. This is given if the NSAIDs medication is not effective.
  • Capsaicin creams can also be used if NSAIDs creams and tablets seem not to be effective. Hover we should take care not to apply these drugs onto open skin surfaces because they contain chillies. They should be applied four times a day but not often than every four hours.
  • Surgical procedures are also an option especially if the patient has a severe deformity caused by Osteoarthritis. In such cases, surgery is used as a way to correct the joint deformity. They include Arthrodesis, Arthroplasty and Osteotomy.

Top Osteoarthritis Facts

Below are the top notch signs for Osteoarthritis;

  • Pain occurs mostly during the Night after a long day.
  • Pain increases with Changes in weather.
  • Pain is asymmetrical and can occur at various joints on the same side of the body or different joints on different sides of the body.
  • Pain gets worse with increased physical activity.

Video on Osteoarthritis

Video On Osteoarthritis

Overview of Osteoarthritis

The pneumonic to remember this can be in the format of S.L.I.C.E which means;

  • Systemic; it is not systemic since it has other factors causing it.
  • Location; Hands wrists, knee joints, hip joints, vertebral column.
  • Inflammation; Not externally but internally especially after the degeneration of cartilage.
  • Chronicity; Chronic and progressive; Insidious and pain onset worsens with activity while one gets relieved with rest.
  • Evidence of trauma; May occur secondary trauma of secondary Joints But Primary osteoarthritis are not related to it.

Shriya Napoleon Fernandes


Raynold Grahams Omondi


Prevention Of Osteoarhtritis

Controlling Osteoarthritis


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