If you're one of the millions of people who suffer from osteoarthritis, you know that this condition can compromise your quality of life in more ways than one. That's why it's important to understand its symptoms and causes, so you can find better ways to manage your condition in the long term.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is caused by the wearing down of cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is a tough and flexible tissue that cushions and protects the bones in the joint. When it wears down, the bones can rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis most often affects the hips, knees, hands, and spine.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms. These include medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy to strengthen muscles around the joint and improve flexibility, braces or supports to help keep the joint stable, and surgery to replace or repair damaged cartilage.
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
The symptoms of osteoarthritis can vary from person to person. Some people may experience only minor discomfort, while others may have more severe symptoms that significantly impact their quality of life. Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
When to See a Doctor Regarding Your Osteoarthritis
There are some general guidelines that may help you decide when to see a doctor. If you are experiencing significant pain, swelling, or stiffness in your joints, then it is likely time to seek medical attention. Additionally, if your symptoms interfere with your daily activities or quality of life, then it is advisable to speak with a doctor. Do not hesitate to contact your physician if you have any other concerns or questions about osteoarthritis.
What Are the Common Causes of Osteoarthritis?
There are many different causes of osteoarthritis, but some of the most common include:
The Bottom Line: The Importance of Understanding Osteoarthritis and How to Better Manage Your Condition
Osteoarthritis is a common and often debilitating condition that can cause pain and stiffness in the joints. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many ways to manage the condition and improve your quality of life. It is important to understand osteoarthritis and how it affects your body, so you can make the best choices for managing your condition.
Treatment options include medications, injections, physical therapy, braces or supports, and surgery. With that in mind, it's crucial to work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that works best for you.
Are You Looking for an Orthopedic Center in Atlanta, GA?
Our bone and joint specialists can help you with your osteoarthritis and other needs. Contact Atlanta Bone and Joint Specialists to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.