What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joint and it is the most common chronic condition that affects the joints. It can be found in any joint but it is commonly found in the knees, hips, lower back and the neck as well as the small joints in the fingers. It can affect movement and can cause pain and discomfort in many cases.
A specialist will determine whether you have osteoarthritis by asking you about your symptoms and carrying out an examination on your joints. Osteoarthritis is often seen in people aged over 50 and if your joints become more painful as they are used then it could also mean that osteoarthritis is present. The symptoms of osteoarthritis are similar to that of other joint conditions and that could mean that x-rays and blood tests are carried out to rule out these other conditions.
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Osteoarthritis is a long-term condition that has no cure although it can be treated so that the symptoms are managed. So, regular exercise, losing weight, using suitable footwear and using special devices that help to reduce the strain on joints can help to ease pain and the symptoms. In some cases, if the pain is severe then painkilling medication might be required and in some cases, surgery might be necessary to either repair, strengthen or replace the damaged joint.
In many cases, osteoarthritis can be managed through a change in lifestyle. This means that exercise can be used to help such as swimming or cycling in order to keep the joint active but with the stress or strain.
A good posture can also help to ease the problem in some cases while staying in the same position for a long period should be avoided as this can cause stiffness in the joints. Weight loss can help to reduce the strain on the joints and can even help to reduce the chances of developing the condition in other joints.
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