It is the most frequent disorder of the joint , which affects people of old age, is characterized by the degeneration of cartilage and adjacent bone, which causes pain articulatory and rigidity.
The osteoarthritis is a disease So far there is no cure, but with good treatment, great benefits can be obtained by allowing patients to lead a practically normal life. In an interview, the doctor Francisco Medina , internist, with a specialty in Rheumatology, answered the following questions:
Is a disease Chronic joints characterized by degeneration of cartilage and adjacent bone; can cause joint pain and morning stiffness, less than 10 minutes. Speaking of statistics, it can be said that it affects 50% of people over 65. And after 70 years, they suffer from osteoarthritis 90%.
The osteoarthritis It is more frequent in elderly people, but young people are not exempt from suffering from it, as they present very few symptoms or none at all. By the simple fact of walk or perform some activities such as: open or close a hand, write, open a door, produce hits or "traumas", that over time begin to generate alterations in the cartilage .
What are the symptoms?
Bone growth also compresses nerves ; the osteoarthritis of the neck or lower back can cause hardening, strange sensations of pain and weakness in an arm or leg.
Is disease It is a chronic process, part of the aging of the person. Just as the hair turns white and it continues to be hair or when the skin loses its morphology and wrinkles (which does not mean that it does not continue to have its functions, but some characteristics change), the same changes the cartilage; so the osteoarthritis it's a chronic change of aging, but aggravated by the factors mentioned above.
The osteoarthritis It follows a slow development in most cases after the onset of symptoms, so at the first sign do not hesitate to go to the doctor.
This is a universal disease, that is, there is no race or sex that escapes to suffer it; but it is much more frequent that women older than 35 years, present the symptomatology.
They can also develop this condition, all those people who misuse or abuse using the joints, such as professional marathon runners, footballers, baseball players, etc.
Because it is more likely to suffer alterations and to manifest pain; but this does not mean that man is exempt from suffering it.
A frequent cause of osteoarthritis In women it is the use of very high-heeled shoes, by making the foot mechanics not work properly, which causes the foot, ankle, knee and also the hip to be injured. Other factors are sedentary lifestyle , a bad posture and the obesity .
How can it be detected?
It is clinically identified by the type of pain, situations that improve or worsen, and with a simple exploration of the affected joints.
Arthrosis in the joints of the hands presents the typical deformation of the fingers, while in the knee it begins to inflame the bone, due to the spilling of the liquid, which normally does not bother.
The osteoarthritis can be confused with the arthritis , for presenting almost the same symptoms, therefore it is important to go to the doctor to establish the appropriate diagnosis. The rheumatologist will perform a series of tests such as:
Osteoarthritis is classified into two types:
Which is the treatment?
Currently there is no treatment to cure osteoarthritis, but it can be controlled, delaying its evolution to improve the quality of life of patients. The treatment is a combination of factors such as:
The patient who suffers osteoarthritis you must understand its limitations, and as a general rule it is recommended that you avoid movements that produce pain, if possible, you will be recommended to start using other joints instead of the affected one. If the osteoarthritis occurs in the lower limbs, you should limit the use of the joints, that is, avoid long walks, do not load heavy things and run, but a patient will never be recommended immobility. Using canes or crutches helps reduce the weight of the joints and reduces pain.
It is essential to perform a routine with sick joints. Do not forget that the exercise must maintain joint movement and strengthen muscles to prevent the joint is flaccid and this can increase the rigidity. The activity to be performed should not cause pain, it should be mild; It must be carried out without carrying weight or forcing the joint and under medical supervision.
Swimming, routines on the floor or very gentle walks are highly recommended, but in each of these there must be indications from your doctor.
Surgery can be useful when pain persists despite the use of previous treatments. Some joints such as the hip and knee may be replaced by a prosthesis, giving very good results, improving movement and reducing pain noticeably.
Where can a person suffering from osteoarthritis go?
As a first step you should visit your family doctor, and when he has specific information, you should transfer it to a specialist, that is, to a rheumatologist.
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