Facts on Osteoarthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis, otherwise known as degenerative joint disease is the most prevalent form of arthritis. It involves the deterioration of a joint's cartilage which causes the joint to lose it's elasticity, making it more stiff and more susceptible to damage. As the cartilage deteriorates, the shock absorption usually provided by the cartilage becomes less effective and may be a source of pain.
The disorder usually affects hands, and weight bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet, and the back. Statistically, women are more commonly affected than men.
- Joint aching and soreness, especially with movement
- Pain after extended use or after inactivity
- Enlarged bony forms in the middle and end joints of the fingers. These enlargements may be painful or not painful at all.
There are many possible causes of Osteoarthritis including:
- Obesity is a factor. Losing weight may prevent osteoarthritis in the knees, hips, and back.
- People that have had joint injuries due to work-related accidents or while playing sports may have greater chances of developing osteoarthritis.
- Genetics and heredity are also a possible cause as an individual may inherit the defect in one of the genes responsible for creating cartilage.
- Overusing the joint also increases risk of developing Osteoarthritis. One example includes people in jobs that require repeated bending of the knees.
- Age is also a factor, though research has shown that Osteoarthritis is not an inevitable part of aging.
Treatment Options include:
- Over-the-counter pain killers or anti-inflammatory medicines
- Topical treatments that come in the form of creams, rubs, or sprays that may be applied to relieve inflammation and pain.
- Exercising can promote healthy joint movement and strengthen muscles that are around the joints.
- Losing weight may help by reducing the stress on weight-bearing joints.
- Prescription anti-inflammatory pain relievers may be used in the event that over-the-counter medicines are not sufficient.
- Hyaluronic Acid Injections may be administered through injections
- Hot or Cold compresses may be useful as a pain relieving therapy.
- Joint protection devices may help with stress on painful joints.
- Integrative therapy such as acupuncture is also shown to relieve pain.
- Steroid injections may be injected directly into your joint.
- Narcotics or stronger pain pills may be prescribed.
- When other treatments have not worked, surgery may be considered to relieve chronic pain in affected joints.