Nine Things To Know About Osteoarthritis
1) The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which affects over 26 million people in the United States alone. It is also called degenerative joint disease and/or degenerative arthritis.
2) Acute pain is the main symptom of osteoarthritis. Other symptoms may include stiffness, joint swelling and pain, aching in the joints, limited movement and joint pain during wet, rainy weather.
3) With osteoarthritis, pain gets worse with use of joints throughout the day, as opposed to rheumatoid arthritis, which is worse in the morning after a night of non-use.
4) Since there is no cure for osteoarthritis, treatments focus on reducing pain, improving joint strength, relieving disabling effects, and improving joint movement.
5) There are two different types of osteoarthritis, primary and secondary. Primary osteoarthritis is related to aging and normal wear and tear on the joints and surrounding muscles, since it is not associated with any specific cause or injury. Secondary osteoarthritis can be caused by a variety of factors, including obesity, sports injury, and pregnancy, to hormonal disorders and diabetes.
6) Although most agree that more evidence is needed, various studies over the years have found that acupuncture is helpful in treating osteoarthritis.
7) In severe cases of OA surgical procedures such as hip or knee arthroplasty, osteotomy, arhtrodesis, cartilage restoration, and arthroscopic surgery may be needed.
8) Dietary supplements of various types may help with OA. Some studies have shown that glucosamine and chondroitin are both very effective for treating OA, while smaller studies have revealed that S-Adenosyl methionine (SAMe), bromelain antioxidants such as vitamin E or vitamin C, as well as selenium, cobalamin (B12) and folate (B9) are helpful.
9) Complications other than adverse reactions to the drugs prescribed for treatment and surgical complications can happen, such as a diminished ability to walk and perform daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, and taking care of personal hygiene.
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