Osteoarthritis: the common joint disorder of the elderly

Most people consider arthritis as the disease of those who are growing old, whose muscles and joints are degenerating; well, it may be true, but arthritis has different types, and this is only one type, the condition that was mentioned is actually osteoarthritis.  Being the most common and most rampant case of arthritis, osteoarthritis has been known in several terms like: degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease, arthrosis, osteoarthrosis, hypertrophic arthritis, or “wear and tear”. 

Osteoarthritis is a chronic and nonsystematic disorder of the joints, a low-grade inflammation of the joints because of the degeneration of articular cartilage or the wearing out of the cartilage that covers or cushions the joints.  It equally affects both women and men, and the incidence rate increases as age increases.  Obesity and joint trauma can also be factors of osteoarthritis.  The most common joints that are greatly affected by osteoarthritis are those weight-bearing joints like spine, knees, hips, feet, and hands or fingertips. 

Patients of osteoarthritis experience pain when they handle weight-bearing activities, walking, standing, or constant mobility, which is opposite to what patients of rheumatoid arthritis experience.  In osteoarthritis, patients’s pain is aggravated when joints or muscles are used, and only when patients rest and relax will they be relieved.  Osteoarthritis patients, because of chronic pain when joints are moved, will lose mobility, and even joint stiffness. 

Because osteoarthritis are oftentimes irreversible, some controllable and pain remedies can be accessed and applied so patients can still cope with their activities, although there will always be some major lifestyle changes once a person gets osteoarthritis.  Some of the medication or intervention to alleviate pain or reduce the uneasiness and discomfort of the patients are through pain relievers, analgesics, NSAIDs, physical therapy, appropriate rest and exercise, mechanical support devices such as walker, cane, or braces, weight loss,  proper diet, and even joint replacement or surgery.

To prevent or control osteoarthritis, one must avoid excessive weight-bearing activities or continuous standing to avoid joint trauma or muscle strain.  Relax your joints and keep a balanced diet and exercise to stay fit and healthy.  Although sometimes, osteoarthritis can’t be avoided because oftentimes it’s hereditary or some youthful activities are stressing the joints and muscles, it is important that one just takes some precaution and assistance when this pain strikes.

One must be careful and keen with what he eats and what he does while he is still young, so when his ripe age comes, his bones, joints, and muscles won’t be suffering such illnesses.