What is Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most wide spread types ofarthritis and is found most often to stast developing after the ageof 45. I may also form as the result of a jury to a joint. Men andwomen are affected equally by this condition.AO causes thebreakdown of the cartilage between the joints. Cartilage is thematerial that covers the end of the bone at the joints to ensuresmooth and effortless movement. In OA, this cartilage breaksdown.OA usually occurs in the fingers and weight-bearing joints;these include, knees, feet, hips and back.

Osteoarthritis is the result of changes in the cells of thecartilage resulting in a loss of elasticity. Over time this causesthe cartilage to thin out and in some situation breakdown alltogether. This leaves the ends of the bone without its smoothcovering, and the joint loses its easy mobility..

OA progresses slowly. For many people the symptoms will be mild andhave little impact. OA rarely causes severe disability, but when itdoes surgery to replace joints is often highly effective.

Symptoms of OA vary. Most individuals remain essentially free ofsymptoms until the cartilage ceases to function properly. Afterthat they may include, Pain, Swelling, and stiffness in theaffected joint or joints.

To diagnose RA Your doctor will first assess your situation bychecking the affected joints for outward signs of inflammation heatetc. then if he deems it necessary may order tests such as X-rayand blood tests joint fluid tests to exclude the possibility ofother types of arthritis.The management of this condition dependson the joints affected and the physique of the patient. Andincludes, Exercise, Education, Medication, Joint protection, andHealthy weight maintenance
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Even after many years of research there is simple answer to thisquestion. It is still not understood why particular joints areaffected by osteoarthritis if they have not suffered any previousinjury or disease.Joint Wear-And-Tear
The aging clearly contributes to the breakdown of the joints thatcauses osteoarthritis, however not all elderly people developOA.Joint Injury Or OveruseAthletes, laborers and other people thatoften subject their joints to prolonged wear-and-tear are at anincreased risk of developing arthritis in later years.The overuseof joints, such as subjecting them to continual stress and strainsare at increased risk. This can be seen in occupations such asjackhammer operators developing arthritis of the hands or elbows,and ballet dancers, who develop arthritis in the feet.Aside fromcontinual wear-and-tear, osteoarthritis has been linked withdamaging events such as:
the result of Fractures or infections that harm the internaltissues of a joint. Repeated knee injuries -, like thoseexperienced by basketball, football, and soccer players – arelikely to develop into osteoarthritis as they get older.Lack ofexercise;Physical inactivity is also harmful to the joints asoveruse. A lack of exercise leads to weakened muscles, these inturn fail to support joints as wel as they should which then leadsto stiffness painBody weight;People that are overweight have abigger chance of developing OA because their joints experience morestress carrying the excess weight. This is particularly prevalentin weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips, Young adultsare more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee as they age.

Answer also: The word arthritis is taken from Greek words meaninginflamed joints and is associated with a group of well over 100rheumatic diseases and conditions. The diseases may affect not onlythe joints but also the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments thatsupport them. Some forms of arthritis can damage your skin,internal organs, and even your eyes. Within the joint where twobones meet, the ends of the two bones are covered with a smoothelastic tissue known as cartilage. This prevents your bones fromrubbing and grinding against each other. Cartilage acts as a shockabsorber as well, cushioning the ends of your bones anddistributing stress evenly across your bones. The cartilage helpsyour bones tolerate the load from things like running, jumping,walking etc by compressing like a sponge. Osteoarthritisconcentrates its erosive influence in one or just a few joints. Ascartilage is eroded, bone begins grinding against bone. This isaccompanied by bony outgrowths called osteophytes. Cysts may formand the underlying bone thickens and becomes deformed. Othersymptoms include knobby knees, grating and grinding sounds thatemanate from arthritic joints, and muscle spasms, along with pain,stiffness and loss of mobility. Efforts to understand it’s causeare plagued by controversy according to the British magazine TheLancet. Some investigators propose that damage to a bone, such asmicro-fractures may occur first. This in turn may trigger bonyoutgrowths and cartilage deterioration. Others think that OA startsin the cartilage itself. As it degenerates and frays, they reason,stress increases on the underlying bone. Pathological changes occuras the body attempts to repair damaged cartilage. Dr. Tim Spectorstate: “Osteoarthritis is a complex disease that has definiteenvironmental risk factors but there is also a strong geneticcomponent.” Particularly susceptible to OA are middle-aged andolder women with a family history of the disease. Some researchersalso cite damage from free oxygen radicals and a deficiency ofvitamins C and D as factors. (excerpt taken from 12/8/01 Awakemagazine article Understanding Arthritis on Jehovah’s Witnessesofficial website)

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