Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative (wear and tear) type of arthritis of the joints of the body where a person loses the lubricating cartilage due to overuse.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis presents with pain, stiffness and swelling of the joint, difficulty bearing weight, decreased movement or range of movement.
- Pain or aching.
- Decreased range of motion (or flexibility).
What are the causes of osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is caused by damage or breakdown of joint cartilage between bones which is usually related to overuse, obesity, and some genetics.
What are risk factors for osteoarthritis?
- Joint injury or overuse
- Age—The risk of developing OA increases with age.
- Gender—Women are more likely to develop OA than men, especially after age 50.
- Obesity—Extra weight puts more stress on joints especially in weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees.
- Genetics—People who have family members with OA are more likely to develop OA.
- Race— Some Asian populations have lower risk for OA.
How is osteoarthritis diagnosed?
Osteoarthritis is usually diagnosed with a physical examination, X-rays, joint aspiration and or MRIs in some cases.
How can losing weight help with osteoarthritis?
Losing even a small amount of weight can have very significant benefit on osteoarthritis, especially for people who are overweight or obese. Losing weight reduces pressure on joints, particularly weight bearing joints like the hips and knees. Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight can relieve pain, improve function, and slow the progression of OA.
Why osteoarthritis of the knees and hips is very common?
Since knees and hips are weight bearing joints, they tend to get a lot of wear and tear, especially for those that are overweight or obese. An estimated 54.4 million US adults have arthritis. Experts believe that number will grow as our nation’s population gets older.
How does osteoarthritis of the hands present?
OA of the hands may present with the following symptoms
- Joint pain
- Nodules of the hands
- Limited range of motion
What are the treatment options for osteoarthritis?
Treatment options depend on the severity and the type of joint and may include
- Increasing physical activity.
- Physical therapy with muscle strengthening exercises.
- Weight loss.
- Medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription drugs.
- Supportive devices such as crutches or canes.
- Surgery especially if other treatment options have not been effective.
What diet should I follow for osteoarthritis?
A balanced diet rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients is essential for ideal joint health. A Mediterranean-style diet which includes fish, pulses, nuts, olive oil and plenty of fruit and vegetables can help.
What is the best treatment for osteoarthritis?
The best treatment option for osteoarthritis (OA) is to reduce the inflammation and stress on the joint such as weight loss especially if the joint involved is a weight bearing type of joint and the person is a bit overweight or obese.
Can children get arthritis?
Yes, children can get arthritis. The most common type of arthritis found in children is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as childhood arthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Signs and symptoms of childhood arthritis may include:
- Joint pain.
- Fatigue (tiredness).
- Loss of appetite.
- Inflammation of the eye.
- Difficulty with daily living activities such as walking, dressing, and playing.
Childhood arthritis causes permanent damage to the affected joint or joints. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are important to prevent or minimize permanent damage.
Can I prevent arthritis?
You can reduce your risk of getting some types of arthritis by changing risk factors you can control. Risk factors you can control include overweight and obesity, joint injuries, and smoking.
How can W8MD help me if I have OA?
W8MD can help in multiple ways if you have OA – first, we can help with proper nutrition, 2nd we can help you lose weight if you are overweight or obese, third, we can help with joint regeneration using the latest technologies such as injection of platelet rich plasma or PRP in to the joints to help attract stem cells for cell growth and joint regeneration.
W8MD’s weight loss, sleep, aesthetic & IV nutrition programs
W8MD’s insurance physician weight loss program is unique in many ways with a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to weight loss that addresses all the complex issues leading to weight gain, both in adults and children. Since its inception in 2011, W8MD has successfully helped thousands of patients succeed in not only losing weight but also keep it off with an ongoing maintenance plan.