Osteoarthritis Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
A progressive joint disease that leads to the breakdown of joint cartilages and underlying bone, osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative arthritis, is one of the most common types of arthritis affecting millions of people across the world. According to the most recent study, by the Arthritis Foundation, approximately 30.8 million Americans currently have doctor-diagnosed osteoarthritis. Here’s a quick look at the causes, symptoms and cures for this disease.
Causes and Symptoms: The most commonly affected joints in OA are the knees, big toes, hips, hands and spine. Osteoarthritis patients usually complain of pain or swelling in the joints, lasting morning stiffness and reduced range of movement in the affected joints. The risk factors include:
- Age: It usually affects people over 65 years of age, but can also occur sooner, based on the profession and activity levels of the individual.
- Obesity: Is more common in individuals who are overweight, since the joints are continuously bearing excess body weight while performing regular movements.
- Form Defects or Previous Injuries: In most cases, prolonged exposure to laborious activities could impact an otherwise healthy joint. However, in some people, the joints are formed differently at birth, or they have suffered an injury to the joint previously. In such cases, over a period of time, even normal workloads may accelerate the degeneration of the damaged joint.
Cure: Despite scientific advances in various other fields of medicine, there is currently no cure for osteoarthritis. However, through a combination of medication, exercises, weight management, and physiotherapy, it is possible to reduce the pain and discomfort, and improve the function and mobility of the affected individual.
The licensed physical therapists at Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania (MRCP) have over two decades of experience in treating OA patients in and around Philadelphia. With extensive orthopedic and manual therapy skills, and a comprehensive range of physical therapies, we follow a personalized approach for every OA patient’s rehabilitation needs.