Understanding Osteoarthritis Disability

Osteoarthritis is in many ways like the weather—ubiquitous, often unnoticed, sometimes dramatic in its effects. Unlike RA, osteoarthritis (OA) rarely spreads to other body parts but concentrates its erosive influence in one or just a few joints. As cartilage is slowly eroded, bone begins grinding against bone. This is accompanied by bony outgrowths called osteophytes. Cysts may form, and the underlying bone thickens and becomes deformed. Other symptoms include knobby knuckles, grating and grinding sounds that emanate from arthritic joints, and muscle spasms, along with pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility.

In times past, OA was thought to be just another consequence of old age. However, experts have abandoned that long-held belief. There is no evidence that a normal joint, subject to common stresses, will break down over the life of a person. Then what causes osteoarthritis? Efforts to understand its exact cause are plagued by controversy. Some investigators propose that damage to a bone, such as microfractures, may occur first. This, in turn, may trigger bony outgrowths and cartilage deterioration. Others think that OA starts in the cartilage itself. As it degenerates and frays, they reason, stress increases on the underlying bone. Pathological changes occur as the body attempts to repair the damaged cartilage.

Protecting Yourself From Osteoarthritis Disability

While age alone does not cause OA, the loss of joint cartilage is experienced more frequently with increasing age. Others at risk may include those who have some abnormality in the way their joint surfaces fit together or who have weak leg and thigh muscles, legs of unequal length, or a misalignment of the spine. Trauma to a joint caused either by an accident or by an occupation in which repetitive motions overuse a joint can also set the stage for osteoarthritis. Once deterioration begins, being overweight can exacerbate OA. Dr. Particularly susceptible to OA are middle-aged and older women with a family history of the disease. Unlike the disease osteoporosis, high rather than low bone density precedes the occurrence of OA. Some researchers also cite damage from free oxygen radicals and a deficiency of vitamins C and D as factors.

Certainly, through knowing the different facts that lead up to the understanding on how osteoarthritis disability occurs in an individual, you would be able to protect yourself from developing ailments. Yes, osteoarthritis disability could be well prevented. Hence, understanding the basic notes about osteoarthritis disability shall indeed create a perfected process as to how one could avoid the occurrence of osteoarthritis disability as well as protect themselves from rheumatoid arthritis.