Did you know that 70% of people over age 65 show some osteoarthritis (OA) on an X-ray even though not all have symptoms? Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. It can occur in any joint in the body but is most common in the knees, hips, lower back, and neck.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
There are many causes of osteoarthritis. One cause is simply aging. As we age, our joints become less flexible and more brittle. This makes them more susceptible to injury and wear and tear.
Another cause of osteoarthritis is being overweight or obese. Extra weight puts more pressure on our joints which can damage them over time. This is why it’s important to maintain a healthy weight to avoid developing osteoarthritis later in life.
Joint injury is also a common cause of osteoarthritis. If you’ve had an injury to a joint in the past, you’re more likely to develop osteoarthritis in that joint later on.
How Do You Know if You Have Osteoarthritis?
There are a few different ways to tell if you have osteoarthritis. The first is by symptoms. If you’re experiencing joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, you may have osteoarthritis.
Another way to tell if you have osteoarthritis is by X-ray. An X-ray can show the wear and tear on your joints that’s characteristic of osteoarthritis.
If you think you may have osteoarthritis, it’s important to see a doctor so they can confirm the diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are treatments that can help manage the pain and improve joint function.
What Are Risk Factors for Developing OA?
There are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of developing osteoarthritis. These include family history, age, gender (osteoarthritis is more common in women than men), and previous joint injuries.
If you have any of these risk factors, there are things you can do to prevent or delay the onset of osteoarthritis. First, maintain a healthy weight. Second, exercise regularly to keep your joints flexible and strong. And finally, avoid injury to your joints.
Living with Osteoarthritis
If you have osteoarthritis, there are things you can do to manage the pain and improve your quality of life. First, stay active. Exercise helps keep your joints flexible and strong. Second, eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, which is important for people with osteoarthritis. Third, use heat or cold therapy to relieve pain. And finally, talk to your doctor about medications that can help relieve pain and improve joint function.
Making Tasks Easier on Your Joints
Having grab bars installed in the shower, a railing by the stairs or even a stairlift or vertical platform lift if walking up and down stairs is too difficult are ways to help reduce stress on your joints.
Osteoarthritis can be a debilitating disease, but there are things you can do to manage the pain and improve your quality of life. Contact Bell House Medical for all of your home accessibility needs!