Osteoarthritis: symptoms and causes
Osteoarthritis, also known as Arthritis, Osteoarthrosis or Degenerative arthritis, is the most common form of osteoarthritis, and is the result of the degeneration of the cartilage that cushions the joint.
To understand the arthrosis is necessary to know a little about the anatomy of the joints. The articulation (or joint) is the region where there is a connection between two or more different bones. Example: the knee is a joint that league the femur and tibia bones (connects the thigh to the lower leg), the elbow is a hinge that league the humerus bone to the ulna bone (ulna). The moveable joints have cartilage and a bag full of liquid called synovial fluid. Cartilage is a slippery tissue adhered to the extremities of the bones bound together by the joints. When there is motion in a joint, thanks to the synovial fluid lubricant and shock absorber cartilage, the bones glide among themselves with the minimum friction.
Osteoarthritis is a process in which there is a degeneration of the cartilage. In the early stages of osteoarthritis cartilage becomes rougher, increasing friction during movement of the joint. Severe osteoarthritis arises when the cartilage is completely destroyed, so that the friction between the two bones causes the deterioration of the same. The friction in the joints causes an inflammation of the same, which is characterized by a case of arthrosis, hence the name of osteoarthritis (arthritis = inflammation of the joint). There are about 100 diseases that can cause arthritis; osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common.
Osteoarthritis is very rare before the age of 40 years and very common after the age of 60. For a long time weighing that the degeneration of the joint, and consequently the arthrosis, was a natural process of aging. Today we know that age is one of the major risk factors, but it is not the only one.
In addition to age, other risk factors for osteoarthritis are: obesity (mainly for osteoarthritis of the knee), being female (women are 3 times more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men), lack of exercise practice (except the high-impact on the joints, which can lead to osteoarthritis), genetic predisposition, etc.
During the cold seasons, the symptoms of osteoarthritis often worsen and that makes that increase the number of queries that are made to physicians' offices. However, there are several ways to help reduce and deal with the aches and pains caused by this medical condition.
Obesity is one of the causes of the disease, and in addition makes this more rapid progress. If you obese or overweight, start any diet program that makes you lose weight; your doctor can help you in this aspect.
In general, heat is more beneficial in osteoarthritis. Can be applied in-house, with the electric mat or the bag of hot water placed on the painful joint. Relieve the pain and relax the muscles. In some cases, the articulation; arthrosis can have an intense outbreak inflammatory and, on those occasions, it is useful to apply local cold by using ice packs or cold baths.
There are many types of medications may be beneficial in this disease. There are painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications, gels and creams, local infiltrations and drugs that can prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Also another popular approach by other doctors are the use of certain electrotherapy devices such as TENS therapy.