Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis, which is mainly caused due to the degenerative breakdown and loss of cartilage in one or multiple joints. Sometimes, even the subchondral bone and the articular cartilage are affected. It is one of the most common types of arthritis and more than 20 million people today are severely affected by it worldwide. However, if you properly know how to identify the signs and symptoms of Osteoarthritis, you will be able to cure the disease in a much better way.
In most cases, males aged 45 and above and females aged 55 and above are more prone to Osteoarthritis. The incidence and spread of this disease is more seen in case of Japan and other South East Asian countries. One of the main causes of Osteoarthritis is aging. As our body grows older, the bones and the cartilage start to get worn out due to the loss of water content. Gradually, this leads to complete loss of water from the cartilage and the complication creeps in.
One of the main ways of diagnosing Osteoarthritis is to look for signs of joint pain. The main symptom of the disease is acute pain in the joints which leads to partial or even complete immobility. As the joints get worn out, normal movement can put too much pressure on them thereby creating intense pain. In most cases, the joints also start swelling to aggravate the problem. The patient feels a stiff and burning sensation in the affected joint and in the surrounding muscles and tendons.
Usually, Osteoarthritis takes place in the hands, spine, feet and knees. However, it can also occur in smaller joints like fingers, elbows and so on. When the affected area is touched or moved, the patient feels a sharp aching sensation which can be every painful. One can also experience tendon contraction or spasm sensation in the muscles. The pain tends to increase in the cold and humid months. At times, a sharp cracking sound known as “crepitus” can also be heard when the affected joint is moved or touched.
The symptoms of Osteoarthritis differ from patient to patient. While some may show signs of acute pain, others may not feel the pain in such an intense manner. In some patients, there can even be deformity of the affected region due to complete loss of the cartilage.
Osteoarthritis undoubtedly is a very common problem among the aged. However, if we are careful and identify the symptoms at an earlier stage, the disease can be completely cured through treatment.