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Senior Hikers Couple During The Walk Round The Tarn In Beautiful Mountains Hills
Senior Hikers Couple During The Walk Round The Tarn In Beautiful Mountains Hills

Homepage > Symptoms > Adult > Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis

There are over 100 types of arthritis, but the most common is called osteoarthritis. It is a degenerative joint condition, and can range in pain severity. It typically starts with the breakdown of the flexible joint tissue known as cartilage and can lead to stiff and immobile joints. Osteoarthritis becomes more common with age. Most frequently, osteoarthritis affects the knees, hips, spine and hands.

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Causes, Symptoms And Treatments Of Osteoarthritis Pain

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Typically, osteoarthritis occurs when the flexible joint tissue known as cartilage is broken down faster than it can be repaired. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide smoothly over one another during movement. But when cartilage is damaged or worn away, the bones rub together causing pain, swelling, and loss of joint mobility.  

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The key symptom of osteoarthritis is joint pain. It can range from mild, uncomfortable pain to severe, disabling pain. Most of the time, this pain occurs when using the joint and will fade over time when rested.  

As osteoarthritis advances, the pain can persist while resting and even occur at night while sleeping. Osteoarthritis can cause joint stiffness, preventing bending and full range of motion of the joint.

Treatments of Osteoarthritis

Some of the most important treatments for osteoarthritis are simple changes to attitude and lifestyle. Physical activity and exercise can, for example, improve joint mobility and reduce pain.

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Because osteoarthritis is a progressive condition, specific pain relief treatments are usually needed such as:

  • analgesics, such as paracetamol
  • topical anti-inflammatory rubs that can be rubbed into the skin to help reduce joint inflammation
  • supplements, such as glucosamine

If you have osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor about treatment options. Your doctor may also recommend that you consult additional healthcare professionals, such as a pharmacist, physiotherapist or nutritionist.

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