Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of chronic arthritis. It affects millions of people across the world. Osteoarthritis requires close care to manage.
Osteoarthritis treatment is available at Spine & Joint Regenerative Medicine in Ooltewah and the surrounding area. Do not let your condition worsen. Call us today at 423-424-1529 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Osteoarthritis (also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or degenerative disc disease) is the leading type of arthritis. It occurs when the smooth cushion between the cartilage breaks down, making joints swollen, painful, and hard to move. Though it can affect any joint, it usually affects the hands, hips, knees, lower back, and neck.
Osteoarthritis can occur in adults of any age and gender. However, it most typically occurs in women in their 50s. It is a progressive disease, meaning it starts gradually and gets worse over time. Fortunately, there are ways to manage or even prevent osteoarthritis pain. Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight can help keep the pain at bay while improving joint function.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
As mentioned above, osteoarthritis is a progressive disorder — meaning many of its symptoms begin slowly and become worse over time. It is typically characterized by:
- Bone spurs
- Grating sensation
- Loss of flexibility
Persons with osteoarthritis may experience pain during or after movement, and any joint stiffness is likely to be most noticeable after waking or periods of inactivity. Light pressure on a joint is also likely to cause tenderness, and patients may lose their range of motion in the affected joint. There may be a grating sensation or sounds of popping or crackling when using the joint. Extra bits of bone may surround the joint, and there may be some soft tissue inflammation.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
As mentioned earlier, osteoarthritis is also known as "wear and tear" arthritis. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that joint damage is the main cause of osteoarthritis. Such joint damage may accumulate over time, making age one of the most common reasons for osteoarthritis — after all, older patients have suffered more wear and tear on their joints.
However, other possible causes of joint damage may include past injury. Examples of past injury include dislocated joints, ligament injuries, or torn cartilage. Patients may also suffer osteoarthritis due to joint malformation, obesity, or poor posture. Certain risk factors can also raise one's likelihood of contracting osteoarthritis. These include:
- Biological sex
- Bone deformities
- Certain metabolic diseases
- Older age
- Repeated stress on a joint
While there are no blood tests that can test for osteoarthritis, Dr. Lewis may conduct blood tests on a patient to exclude any diseases that can cause secondary osteoarthritis or other arthritis conditions. Osteoarthritis is primarily identified through X-rays of the affected joint(s). According to WebMD, most osteoarthritis X-ray findings include:
- Bone spur formation
- Loss of joint cartilage
- Narrowing of the joint space between adjacent bones
X-ray testing can also exclude any other possible causes of pain in a specific joint, assisting Dr. Lewis in how to best personalize the patient's treatment plan. Some patients may also undergo arthrocentesis (joint fluid analysis) or arthroscopy, a surgical procedure in which a viewing tube is inserted into the joint space. In more complex cases, our team may also need to use an MRI.
There are several surgical and non-surgical options available for treating osteoarthritis. Patients with mild symptoms often find that over-the-counter painkillers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are helpful in managing their discomfort.
However, as osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, some chiropractic care may also become necessary. A chiropractor such as Dr. Lewis can help manually adjust the bones into place. Hyaluronic acid injection treatment can also offer some pain relief. As the name suggests, this type of therapy injects hyaluronic acid into the knee to provide extra cushioning. Hyaluronic acid itself is a naturally occurring substance that resembles a component normally found in the joint fluid.
Call Us Today
If left untreated, osteoarthritis can easily become a debilitating disease. We at Spine & Joint Regenerative Medicine can help. Call us today at 423-424-1529 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the other forms of arthritis?
Osteoarthritis is just one of many forms of arthritis. All in all, there are over 100 different kinds of arthritis and arthritis-related conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. Other common forms of arthritis include ankylosing spondylitis, gout, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, and thumb arthritis.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is an all-encompassing term for conditions that affect the joints or the tissues around a joint. While most types of arthritis cause pain and stiffness in and around the affected joint(s), other types also affect the immune system and some of the body's internal organs.
Why is obesity a risk factor for osteoarthritis?
Being overweight places undue pressure on the joints, especially weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), losing just 10 to 12 pounds can help people with arthritis reduce pain and improve function.
What are some of the first signs of osteoarthritis?
You may want to see a doctor if you find yourself complaining of pain related to activity or pain when resting and asleep at night. Joint stiffness and deformity may also begin to limit your joint function and negatively affect your quality of life.
Is there a cure for osteoarthritis?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. As such, treatment is focused on alleviating any symptoms. Combining different treatment modalities often works to bring about the best results. Our team will work with you to find the best combination for you.
Are there any foods I should avoid if I have osteoarthritis?
If you have osteoarthritis, it is best to avoid any foods that may promote inflammation in the body. These include wheat products, fried foods, foods with omega-6 fatty acids, salt, and sugary snacks. Maintaining a balanced diet by focusing on calcium and vitamin-D-rich foods can help.
Check out what others are saying about our Osteoarthritis services on Yelp: Osteoarthritis Ooltewah
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