Osteoarthritis is arthritis in the joints. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, sometimes swelling, tenderness and ‘cracking’ sounds during movement.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage at the end of joints is worn down. Age, obesity, gender, joint abnormality or injury and family history can all contribute.
Osteoarthritis is a long-term condition, in worse cases it can result in chronic pain. Exercise that does not put stress on the joints, weight control and attention to posture can help manage the condition and reduce pain. Medication is often prescribed to help prevent pain, while natural remedies such as homeopathy or acupuncture are also available. Patients living with chronic pain may be referred to a pain management clinic or counsellor or advised to attend a pain management programme. This helps sufferers to learn to live with the pain and to achieve a better quality of life. If you are considering pain management, please do get in touch to learn more about how the pain management clinic can help you.
You can minimise risk by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding injury.
Diagnosis is usually based on the identification of symptoms and physical joint examination. In some cases, an X-ray is also needed.