ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Symptoms Of, And Treatments That Will Help, Osteoarthritis

Updated on January 12, 2012

Osteoarthritis, occurs when the cartilage that cushions a joint, erodes over time so that the ends of the bones become damaged. Pain results. Osteoarthritis, for reasons not entirely understood, occurs more commonly in women.

Unlike other forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis occurs only in joints where deterioration has occurred. It does not spread throughout the body. Osteoarthritis affects over ten percent of the adult population in the United States.


The symptoms of osteoarthritis appear slowly over time. Typical symptoms include; a grating sensation when the joint is used, pain during and after use, stiffness, tenderness when touched, swelling, and decreased flexibility.

If you have any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately so your condition can be diagnosed and treatment begun.


There are some risk factors that increase the chances that osteoarthritis will develop. These include: obesity, which can put excessive pressure on numerous joints, injury to a joint, aging, muscle weakness, genetics, some diseases, and being a woman. People in some occupations may be predisposed to osteoarthritis. For example, individuals who are required to work in a squat position may develop osteoarthritis in one or both knees.


There is no cure for osteoarthritis but the disease can be managed. There are numerous things you can do yourself to improve your quality of life. Eliminate excess weight. This alone can lessen pain in both the knees and the back. Simply maintaining good posture can avoid putting further stress on worn joints. Get adequate rest. This is especially important if joints are swollen or painful. Apply heat or cold to the affected joint. Heat can loosen up stiff joints, and cold can help control pain. Gentle exercise can keep joints flexible and maintain muscle strength. Tai Chi and Yoga, with their slow, fluid motions, have proven helpful in improving both flexibility and range of motion.

Some individuals have found considerable relief by taking the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin. Discuss this with your doctor. Also discuss a supplement of ginger, also found by some to be helpful.

Acupuncture has also been beneficial to some individuals.


Once you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, your doctor will set up a plan of treatment. This plan will probably include some form of medication to manage pain, reduce inflammation and maintain flexibility. Your doctor will prescribe the medication that is best for you, depending on the severity of your symptoms, any other conditions that you have, and any other medications that you may be taking. If you are prescribed medication, understand and possible side affects and report immediately any unexpected side affects that appear suddenly.

Your physician may refer you to a physiotherapist who can give you a series of exercises that may relieve pain as well as increase strength and flexibility.

Cortisone shots into the affected area can bring considerable relief. Exactly why cortisone works is not fully understood. Too many shots can actually increase joint damage so your doctor will decide if this is a good option for you.

Some joints can be supported by braces or splints which are adjusted to fit a particular joint.

Bones in joints can be fused which decreases pain and adds stability but unfortunately eliminates all joint flexibility.

If there are no further management options to make life tolerable, joint replacement is a possibility. Joint replacements are proving highly successful. To help guarantee that your replacement is a success, keep your weight under control. and exercise as advised.










Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sheilanewton profile image

      sheilanewton 

      6 years ago from North Shields, UK

      oseoarthritis can make life a painful hell for sufferers. This is a nicely presented, well-researched piece that could be helpful to lots of people. Well done.

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR

      billips 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you so much for your kind comments Writer 20 - I hope your doctor can alleviate your symptoms - regards, B.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      If only doctors explained symptoms like you. Nice and easy to understand.

      I have a flare up in my shoulders hands and knees. I'm with an Arthric Dr. and on meds. but they seem to be much to help the pain.

      I'm going to be following you for sure.

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR

      billips 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for your kind comment Duffsmom - it is appreciated - B.

    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Excellent hub billips! Very helpful and informative.

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 

      6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Well done and well explained and illustrated. Top hub

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR

      billips 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for your comments Virginia - interesting about the aleve - it does make sense though - and of course losing some weight will take some of the pressure off the joints - good idea for anybody and any body - B.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      6 years ago from United States

      Good information. I have managed arthritis for about ten years now. I found great relief when I started taking regular doses of aleeve once or twice a day, whether I felt pain or not. As my doctor explained to me, once you feel pain it is hard for the medicine to work. A low dose continuously can keep that pain at bay--not entirely gone, but not interferring with your life. I've also found relief recently when I lost just 14 lbs. I want to lose more but I'm surprised at the difference already.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      This is a very timely article for me. I found it to be very informative.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)