Osteoarthritis – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment


Popping knee or a sudden pain around the joints? It does go without saying that we know someone or the other suffering through osteoarthritis. Statistics (R) suggest that 12.1% of the population in the United States itself suffers from this form of arthritis.

Knowing about osteoarthritis can effective be helpful in handling the condition and the consequences it brings around with it. This is here to educate you around the said topic.

By the end of this article, you will have a clarified understanding of everything there is to know about osteoarthritis and the treatment options associated with the same.

What is Osteoarthritis?

What is Osteoarthritis
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Osteoarthritis is the branch or the type of arthritis that predominantly affects the joints in any part of the body.

The condition has been reported to be the most common form of arthritis which is causes because of the wearing off of the cartilage which acts as a protective shield for the bones.

Millions of people from across the globe are affected because of the condition and this disorder is often seen majorly in people above 60 years of age. The same doesn’t necessarily mean that the condition can’t affect the people of younger age.

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Check Out These Osteoarthritis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

What causes Osteoarthritis
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It is not at all surprising to note that the primary cause behind the condition of osteoarthritis is caused because of the joint damage.

Our bones are made of calcium rich deposits which, if comes in constant contact with each other, have the possibility of getting eroded over time.

The cartilage in between our bones and the joints act as a cushion that helps in absorbing any kind of shocks and even help get rid of the erosion of the bones. Wearing off of the same is what ends up being a problem and does contribute to the development of Osteoarthritis.

Apart from this being a primary cause, some of the other trivial causes behind the condition include:

  • Torn cartilage
  • Ligament injuries
  • Dislocated joints
  • Obesity
  • Joint Malformation
  • Poor posture
  • Family history

Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Signs and Symptoms of OsteoarthritisDetecting the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis is not that tough. There could be a number of contributing factors behind the same.

While the initial stages might not necessarily bring around all the symptoms, they do necessarily get worse with time.

Some of the common signs and symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • Pain in the joints
  • Feeling of tenderness in the joints when you apply pressure on it
  • Stiffness in the joints following a long term of inactivity or even when you are waking up
  • Loss of flexibility in the joints and not being able to move it into the full range of motion
  • Experiencing the grating sensation when you do any kind of activity involving the affected joint
  • Formation of extra bits of bone around the affected joint may be visible which is known as the bone spurs
  • Swollen joints on an extended period of activities

Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis

Diagnosis of OsteoarthritisWhen it comes to the diagnosis of Osteoarthritis, it is a hard process. Owing to the fact that the condition isn’t necessarily caused in a matter of days (until and unless it is caused by an accident), it is a progressive disease.

It is hard to diagnose because of the fact that it is a slow developing disease and until and unless you are hit with a constant pain and symptoms that don’t get better, it is hard to detect and diagnose it right off the bat.

For the early detection of the osteoarthritis, the same is often diagnosed following circumstances like that of accidents and such.

In terms of diagnosis purposes, the most common form of diagnosis is through X-Rays or MRI. In order to confirm the accessory issues, the doctors often tend to advise a blood test as well to see whether or not there are any underlying conditions affecting the situation even further.

What is the Best Treatment Option For Osteoarthritis?

What Is The Best Treatment Option For Osteoarthritis
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More than the osteoarthritis treatment options, the available options are mainly focused around on the symptom management. This disease is primarily focused around how you manage and regulate the symptoms to lead a better life.

It is not necessarily the pills and the medication that help cure the condition but the lifestyle changes and the factors you are indulging in.

Some of the effective treatment options for Osteoarthritis include:

1. Exercising

ExercisingExercises and having an active lifestyle has been found to be an effective treatment option for managing the condition of Osteoarthritis.

Indulging in such physical activities (R) has been found to have positive impacts in relieving the stiffness in the muscles around the joints.

Patient suffering from osteoarthritis are often suggested to indulge in 20-30 minutes of physical activity every other day and that too, ones that are not rigorous but gentle on your body.

Some of the best types of physical activities and forms of exercises you can indulge in include walking, swimming or even tai chi and yoga.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintain a healthy weightYou might not realize this but obesity is actually one of the most common reasons behind the development of osteoarthritis in the patients.

Even a conducted study (R) found that the fat mass was associated with the increased risks of the cartilage defects which proved out to be a contributing factor to the development of osteoarthritis in people.

If you are here wondering why the same does happen, it is because being overweight does exert more pressure on the joints and the structure of the body as a whole. Losing those excess pounds (R) can help get rid of that excess pressure on the joints and the other parts of the body.

Not just for osteoarthritis treatment, maintenance of a healthy weight has also been found beneficial in handling several other health conditions like that of diabetes and heart related risks.

3. Proper Night’s Sleep

Proper night-s sleepGetting a proper night’s sleep (R) (R) is often very effective in handling and managing the condition associated with osteoarthritis.

Given the condition associated with the constant rubbing of the naked bones without the cartilage, it is not surprising that the constant physical activity throughout the day needs all the rest to be able to handle the condition and the pain and consequences that do come along with the same.

Resting the body, especially the joints and the affected areas can help it recover through the night for you to be able to take on the next day better.

4. Heat and Cold Therapy

Heat and cold therapy
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Heat and cold therapy work wonder when it comes to osteoarthritis treatment.

This can help in relieving the stiffness and the pain that does come associated with the condition of osteoarthritis.

Applying hot and cold compress in alternate terms can actually prove out to be beneficial in handling the pain and the cramping that many patients often tend to complain about.

These kinds of treatment approaches have been found to have effective impacts in taking the brunt off the symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

5. Medication

MedicationThe last resort is none of the above works is when the doctors prescribe medications to handle the condition effectively.

There are several forms of medications that do work wonders when it comes to handling the condition of osteoarthritis.

Some of the prescribed medications that the doctors do suggest for the pain and swelling include oral and topical analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, cymbalta as well as corticosteroids.

The doctors often tend to suggest the over the counter medications at first and see if they are enough to handle the symptoms. If not, that’s when these above mentioned categories of medications are prescribed for better health.

6. Surgical Methods

Surgical methodsIf none of the above mentioned methods work out for the best and the condition starts impacting one’s day to day activity, surgery is often the best and the last option in this regard.

Some of the common surgical treatments and methods that majority of the people opt for include:

  • Cortisone injections (R)
  • Lubrication injections (R)
  • Realignment of bones
  • Joint replacement

Diet for Osteoarthritis

Diet for osteoarthritisYou might necessarily not realize this but your diet does have quite a huge impact on your overall prospect of osteoarthritis treatment. What you are eating can influence the rate at which you get cured and can lead a better life without having the pain and inflammation from this disorder hampering the condition altogether.

In here, we are going to walk you through the best 3 foods that you need to add to your diet and the 3 that needs to make an exit out of your diet altogether.

Foods to Eat

The best 3 foods that you should include in your diet include:

1. Oily Fish

Oily FishOily fishes like salmon and mackerel does have an amazing impact on the treatment of the osteoarthritis.

The main reason why these are considered to be a potent treatment method is because of the fact that they are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids in them which have proven impacts in influencing anti-inflammatory impacts on the body (R) and relieving the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.

Try and include a portion of healthy and fatty fishes in your diet every week to churn the benefits from the same.

If eating fishes are not your think, opt for the supplements (R) which work just as great.

2. Dairy

DairyIncluding dairy in your diet can be quite beneficial when it comes to handling the condition associated with the osteoarthritis treatment.

Dairy, especially milk, yogurt and cheese have been found to have a heightened concentration of calcium as well as Vitamin D, the combination of which have been found beneficial for the improvement of the joint and bone health.

3. Dark Leafy Vegetables

Dark leafy vegetablesLeafy vegetables might not be everyone’s favourite but the same has been found to have quite an impact on the overall treatment and management of osteoarthritis.

These leafy greens are not only loaded with a good chunk of Vitamin D but are also loaded with a lot of phytochemicals and antioxidants which helps boost the overall health of an individual.

The combination of these antioxidants as well as the Vitamin D has been proven beneficial in getting rid of the swelling and the pain that does accompany this condition altogether.

Foods to avoid

The top 3 foods that definitely need to make an exit out of your diet include:

1. Sugar

SugarSugar is possibly the very first food item that you need to cut out from your diet without any kind of questions.

The heightened consumption of sugar, especially refined sugar has been found to have negative impacts in the condition of osteoarthritis because of the fact that it triggers the release of cytokines (R) (R) in the body which increase the inflammation in the body.

2. Refined carbs

Refined carbsRefined carbs, much like refines sugar have been marked as a big NO for patients suffering from osteoarthritis.

Unlike the sugar which directly triggers the release of cytokines, the consumption of refined carbs has been associated with the increased production of advanced glycation end oxidants.

Not only the refined carbs, it is always suggested to opt for ways to lower the carb intake altogether if you are suffering from this disorder, given the fact that it does help in improving the condition and managing the associated symptoms.

3. Saturated fats

Saturated fatsYou don’t necessarily realize this but the consumption of saturated fats has been associated with a number of issues that you possibly don’t even have an idea about.

Saturated fats like red meat and even the junk food that you are consuming does have the potency of ending up contributing to a number of health issues like obesity, risks of heart diseases and even make the condition with the inflammation way worse than it has to be.

Natural Remedies For Osteoarthritis

Natural Remedies For Osteoarthritis

When it does come down to discussing the common grounds of natural remedies for osteoarthritis, the possibilities are quite vast. There are a number of factors that do end up influencing the prospects of treatment of osteoarthritis, especially with the use of natural remedies.

Some of them include:

1. Epsom Salt

Epsom SaltEpsom salt and its benefits in reducing inflammation and pain from the body doesn’t necessary require any kind of new explanation.

The presence of magnesium sulphate (R) (R) in it has been found quite beneficial in handling the condition associated with the inflammation that is witnessed in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.

For beneficial effects, add 2 cups of the Epsom salt in the bathwater and soak yourself in it for 20-30 minutes.

2. Turmeric

TurmericCurcumin, which is the active compound in the Turmeric, has been found to have amazing benefits in combating the condition of osteoarthritis.

It is not necessarily a new subject that Curcumin is loaded with beneficial anti-inflammatory properties (R) which turn out to have beneficial impacts on the body and in healing the pain and inflammation that comes paired with the condition.

It also does help with the pain that comes along with the condition of osteoarthritis.

The best way to consume turmeric for the osteoarthritis treatment is by mixing it with a cup of warm milk and drinking that at night. Turmeric milk is quite beneficial in handling the condition.

3. Ginger

GingerIf you are tired experiencing the pain constantly with your condition, ginger is one of those natural remedies for osteoarthritis that works wonders for this condition.

In a conducted study (R) in osteoarthritis patients who are older than 18 years of age found that ginger did pan out to be an effective remedy in not just handling the pain but also relieving the condition associated with the reduction in the disability.

Experts do suggest consuming ginger in its spice form in the diet instead of sticking it out to the supplements which can pan out to be a problem altogether. The best way to use ginger for this disorder is by drinking ginger tea which can be helpful in managing the condition effectively.

4. Green tea

Green teaGreen tea is yet another potent natural remedy that can work wonders when it comes to treating the condition of osteoarthritis.

Apart from being loaded with antioxidative properties, green tea also has potent impacts in reducing the inflammation that comes around with the condition altogether.

Even a conducted study (R) found that the consumption of green tea has been proven to have better impacts in the protection of the cartilage between the bones.

5. Acupuncture

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The method and process of acupuncture might be painful as it might seem like, but the same does have beneficial impacts on the overall condition of osteoarthritis.

While the ongoing research surrounding this method is still a question still now, the researchers do emphasise stating it to be an effective mode of treatment for the condition of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis Vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis
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One of the most common things that you will often encounter when learning about osteoarthritis is the fact that many people tend to confuse the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

While the symptoms concerning osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis might seem similar, the conditions are different altogether.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that gets worse over the course of time. It is important to understand that the condition and the causes behind these two conditions are very different.

Osteoarthritis is caused because of the progressing worsening of the condition when the cartilage inside the bones gets eroded over time. It gets worse with time which is why it is important to ensure that you do take the necessary precautions to keep it in control.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is a an autoimmune disorder in which the patient’s immune system mistakes the soft lining of the joints as a possible threat to the body and thus ends up attacking its own cells and causes erosion of that layer altogether.

What this does is wipe out the presence of the synovial fluids from these cavities which poses a threat to the induction of the erosion of the bones, thereby causing an issue altogether. As the immune system starts attacking the tissues around the joint, it ends up causing the accumulation of the fluids which has been found to be contributing to the condition of rheumatoid arthritis.

If you are still confused about which kind or form of arthritis you are suffering from, it is always best suggested to consult a doctor for the same.

How to Prevent Osteoarthritis?

How to prevent OsteoarthritisWhen it comes to the preventive measures for osteoarthritis, the possibilities are quite extensive. Given the fact that it is a progressive disease, it can actually be handled effectively with precautionary steps.

Some of them include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Indulge in some physical activity
  • Have a proper rest in the day
  • Manage your blood glucose levels

While these account for the preliminary preventive measures, the same can actually be extended on till a number of other accessory factors. It is important to consult a doctor whenever required.

Osteoarthritis heavily impacts one’s overall quality of life. If you have been consistently having complaints about the pain around the joints accompanied by stiffness and numbness as well, it is very well suggested to consult a doctor for the condition. This article covers every last detail that one needs to know about the disorder and the treatment approach for the same.