An osteoarthritis is a form of a chronic joint illness that has tallied millions around the globe. For instance, in the United States alone, close to 33% of American adults have some form of chronic joint symptom or arthritis; that is a staggering 1/3rd of the adult population. The cases are more pronounced for women than for men. There are close to 5 million reports of osteoarthritis among adults and close to 75% of these are women. There are some rare cases of osteoarthritis among the younger age groups as well but the cases are far and in between.
This is a form of arthritis condition that occurs at the joint. A joint is the meeting point that links two bones. The ends of the bones are covered with what is called cartilage – the resilient, smooth, and rubber-like padding that acts as a shock. It buffers between bones and also makes up the nose, ear, intervertebral disc, the rib cage, and many other parts.
Osteoarthritis causes this cartilage to break down and cause the bones to chaff and grind on each other; this causes loss in mobility and intense pain. The damaged cartilage cannot repair itself as it doesn’t contain any blood vessels. When the cartilage grinds and withers away, bone-on-bone action occurs and you are now a victim of osteoarthritis.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the damage to the joint. It doesn’t generally occur suddenly but more so over time – this is why osteoarthritis is more prominent among those of higher age brackets. The older you are, the more wear and tear your joints have endured. There are other causes of joint damage such as:
- Ligament injuries
- Joint dislocation
- Torn cartilage
Other causes that accentuate osteoarthritis include poor posture, obesity, and malformations of the joints. Having genetics that makes your joints more susceptible to osteoarthritis and gender also play a role in determining how quickly you come face to face with osteoarthritis.
Where Can Osteoporosis Occur?
Osteoarthritis can happen where ever there is a joint. This includes the hands, hips, spine, fingertips, knees, and lower back. The common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain, general swelling, and tenderness of the joint and stiffness and loss of mobility. When the degradation of the cartilage increases the ailment becomes severe osteoarthritis. This is introduced by joint instability – the feeling of your knees giving away and your joints suddenly locking out. Even the easiest of activities that you do on a day to day basis such as walking, opening a jar, or climbing the stair become arduous and excruciatingly painful.
How To Reverse Or Manage Osteoporosis, Especially For The Hand?
The joint damage is mostly irreversible. However, some treatments can help negate and reduce the symptoms. Some of these strategies are:
Exercise Your Hands
Strengthening the tendons and maintaining flexibility is the key to preventing the condition from getting worse. Consider the following exercises:
- Keep your hands in an open position and then move the tip of the thumb from the top of any other finger to its base. Start with the index and then trace it to the bottom of the index finger. Continue this to the little finger.
- Hold out your hand in the air and keep your finger upright. Then close in your finger to form a fist, and then release. Perform this exercise a few times.
- Hold your hands in the air and pull in your fingers and the thumb to form a ‘c’ shape. Hold for a few seconds and ease. Do this a few times.
Applying Hot And Cold Treatment
Applying heat helps in reducing stiffness and relaxes the joint. It speeds up the circulation to the joint and stimulates the production of joint fluid. You can make use of heat packs, heat wrap, or a warm water bottle. Applying cold treatment is for reducing inflammation and swelling. It slows and dulls the nerve impulses allowing for better pain management. Place the ice pack or cold water for a good 10-20 minutes for the best results.
Revamp Your Wardrobe
These little changes go a long way in reducing further damage and ease the joint. Make sure to use shoes that slip off or use velcro and stay away from those that have shoelaces. Have shirts that pull over the head rather than having you to button up. Buy pants that have an elastic waistband rather than those with zippers and straps. You can make other small changes around the house, for example, make use of lightweight pots and pans in the kitchen, and have lids that can be opened easily rather than ones that have to be unscrewed.
The Final Note
Osteoarthritis is a condition that eats away the quality of life. You must not lose hope, as following these small treatments regularly will help you reclaim most of what is lost. You can check out Rheumatologist in Los Angeles to get a quality diagnosis!