Onset of Osteoarthritis (at various ages)
We have all seen and heard of a few of our loved ones who suffer from aching limbs and joints. What exactly is the cause of this? What is the difference between regular arthritis and osteoarthritis? We have written a short article covering all information on this condition, to help better understand it and aid your loved ones in overcoming it. Continue reading below to understand the reasons for onset of osteoarthritis, Osteoarthritis prevention techniques in young people and how to care for those affected by it.
What is Osteoarthritis?
We’re all aware of Arthritis and joint pains that occur with age. Arthritis refers to the general inflammation and swelling of joints which mostly affects older people or people who are engaged in certain type of hard labour. Osteoarthritis is a type of Arthritis that occurs due to the wear and tear of cartilage, and is known to be the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage that is found in between the bones, specifically near the joints. This cartilage is responsible for providing a cushion to the bones and allows us to easily go through the full range of motion without pain or discomfort that may occur from our bones rubbing against each other or chafing together. Since people with osteoarthritis have cartilage that is underdeveloped or inelastic due to wear and tear, it does not absorb shock as well as it is supposed to, thus leading to friction in the joints which causes swelling, inflammation, and joint pain.
What exactly causes Osteoarthritis?
There are various factors that contribute to the cause of Osteoarthritis. The most common factor is Age, and the older you get, the more you’re at risk of developing this condition. However, there are other influences that determine whether you’re more vulnerable to developing Osteoarthritis. They could be:
Genetics: Some people are unfortunately genetically predisposed to inherit a defect in one of the genes that are responsible for making cartilage. Thus, this leads to them having underdeveloped cartilages, or weak cartilages that rapidly deteriorate with age.
Injury: People like workers who are engaged in regular physical labour, or professional athletes often overuse a particular body part more than the others and are at risk for injuries. This kind of prolonged stress and constant injuries on their joints, especially ones that are used regularly such as the knees, ankles and hip, may cause too much stress on the cartilage and cause it to get damaged and degrade faster.
Obesity: People who are obese or overweight for their body type are at high risk for a number of diseases, including but not limited to osteoarthirits. Any excess weight that our bones and joints bear add excess pressure to them and cause faster aging of joints. Obesity is a sure fire way to increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis, so maintaining the ideal weight for your height and age is recommended.
Other Diseases: People who suffer from other diseases which affect the bone, such as scoliosis, rheumatoid arthritis or curvature of spine etc. are at higher risk of developing Osteoarthritis, due to the already existing stress on the joints and bones of those areas. Some rare cases such as excessive growth hormone secretion or iron overload can also cause osteoarthritis.
Onset of Osteoarthritis in people of all ages
There are various types of osteoarthritis that can manifest irrespective of your age.
Stage 1 or Primary Osteoarthritis: This mostly occurs in middle aged people (around 40-50 years). It is characterized by mild ache in the joints, which occurs due to wear and tear, and does not cause too much interference with the daily routine
Stage 2 or Mild Osteoarthritis: This is when the condition develops further, and causes the affected areas to hurt after prolonged usage or sedentary periods. At this stage, the patient may need medical aids such as compression bandages, knee or ankle braces to go about their daily routine.
Stage 3 or Moderate Osteoarthritis: When there is further erosion of the cartilage, it causes the growth of bone spurs near the affected areas, which cause significant discomfort and inflammation.
Stage 4 or Severe Osteoarthritis: The cartilage is almost completely damaged, and causes severe Osteoarthritis pain to the patient. Those affected are usually unable to walk for more than a few steps at a time, and face trouble with climbing stairs and standing for long periods of time.
Prevention and Treatment of Osteoarthritis:
As always, Prevention of any disease is greater than a cure. Osteoarthritis prevention can be done by doing something as simple as going on a 30 minute walk everyday. An active lifestyle can prevent a myriad of health issues by keeping the body at an ideal weight. Practicing yoga can be a great way to keep the joints flexible and prevent stiffness and soreness.
Treatment of Osteoarthritis begins with eliminating factors that can cause the disease to worsen further. So, patients are often encouraged to lose weight if they are overweight, and keep their body in a fit manner. Maintaining blood sugar levels is also imperative to treat osteoarthritis. Modern medicine also uses topical treatments and general pain relief medication for osteoarthritis treatment. If you prefer home remedies and natural methods of treatment, there are a variety of pain relief oils and ayurvedic joint pain relief oils that are made with chemical free ingredients and provide relief to those who are suffering from arthritis.
Imbue Natural uses a combination of choice ingredients such as Datura, Nirgundi oil and Shudh Kuchala that are proven in traditional Indian medicine to alleviate pain and swelling. The Niraama joint pain relief oil is chemical and preservative free and provides relief from joint and knee pain, without any side effects.