Osteoarthritis

Friday, 13 July 2007

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) begins with the breakdown of cartilage in joints, resulting in joint pain and stiffness. OA commonly affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips, and spine. Other joints affected less frequently include the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. When OA is found in one of these joints, there is usually a history of injury or unusual stress. There are several factors that cause, or increase your risk of developing, osteoarthritis (OA). If you are experiencing symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, it is important to find out if you have OA. Early diagnosis is important so you can begin treatment that can help to relieve pain, improve mobility, and minimize disability. What are the symptoms? OA usually comes on slowly. Early in the disease, joints may ache after physical work or exercise. Not everyone with OA feels pain. In fact, only a third of people whose X-rays show OA report pain or other symptoms. For those who do experience symptoms, the most common warning signs include: Steady or intermittent pain in a joint Stiffness that tends to follow periods of inactivity, such as sleep or sitting Swelling or tenderness in one or more joints [not necessarily occurring on both sides of the body at the same time] Crunching feeling or sound of bone rubbing on bone (called crepitus) when the joint is used Although OA can occur in any joint, most often it occurs in the following areas: Fingers. OA of the fingers is often hereditary, meaning it runs in families. More women than men have OA of their fingers, especially after menopause. Small, bony knobs (called Heberdens nodes) appear on the end joints of the fingers. Similar knobs (called Bouchards nodes) can appear on the middle joints of the fingers. Fingers can become enlarged and gnarled. They may ache or be stiff and numb. The base of the thumb joint also is commonly affected.4 Knees. Because knees are primary weight-bearing joints, they are very commonly affected by OA. They may be stiff, swollen, and painful, making it hard to walk, climb, and get in and out of chairs and bathtubs. If OA of the knee is not treated, it can lead to disability. Hip. OA in the hip can cause pain, stiffness, and severe disability. You may feel the pain in your hips, groin, inner thigh, or knees. You may have difficulty moving, bending, and walking. This can interfere with daily activities such as dressing and foot care. Spine. OA of the spine can cause stiffness and pain in the neck or in the lower back, as well as weakness or numbness in your arms or legs. What causes OA? OA affects the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints. Although the exact cause is not known, some scientists believe that joint damage begins in response to mechanical stress. Stress may cause cells in the joint to release large amounts of enzymes and other chemicals. Normally, these enzymes play a role in the natural balance between the buildup and breakdown of cartilage. However, if too much enzyme is released, joint cartilage breaks down rapidly. As cartilage breaks down, your body tries to repair the damage by making new bone. The ends of the bones in the joint thicken, and the new bone can result in obvious lumps, most often on the hands and feet. Each step in this cycle of damage and inadequate repair produces pain. Some factors may increase your risk of developing OA, including: Age. Age is the strongest risk factor for OA. Although OA can start in young adulthood, if you are over 45 years old, you are at higher risk. Female gender. In general, arthritis occurs more frequently in women than in men. Before age 45, OA occurs more frequently in men; after age 45, OA is more common in women. OA of the hand is particularly common among women. Joint alignment. People with joints that move or fit together incorrectly, such as bow legs, a dislocated hip, or double-jointedness, are more likely to develop OA in those joints. Hereditary gene defect. A defect in one of the genes responsible for a cartilage component called collagen can cause deterioration of cartilage. Joint injury or overuse caused by physical labor or sports. Traumatic injury to the knee or hip increases your risk for developing OA in these joints. Joints that are used repeatedly in certain jobs may be more likely to develop OA because of injury or overuse. Obesity. Being overweight during midlife or the later years is the strongest risk factor for OA of the knee. Certain diseases. Some diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, change the normal structure and function of cartilage. How to diagnose OA? If you experience swelling or stiffness in your joints for more than two weeks, you should see your doctor. It is important to find out if you have arthritis and, if so, what type. Early diagnosis and treatment can help minimize pain and disability.

Comments

Why so many pyramids
written by Kumar , December 26, 2007

U used 10,000 pyramids in your place. It costs a lot to have so many. Even Rs. 15 per would mean Rs. 15,00,000.

How expensive is it for a flat of 2,000 sq.ft

Response from Premal Betai: You may require to contribute anywhere between Rs.2000 to Rs.5000 for a flat of 2000 square feet.

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