WHAT IS OSTEOARTHRITIS? | Dr. Yeibake Weriwoyingipre Silver

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that primarily affects the cartilage in joints. About 365 million people are affected worldwide. Most (73%) are older than 55 years, and females are affected more (60%). It is the most common form of arthritis and typically occurs with age, although it can also be a result of joint injury or repetitive stress on the joints.

In a normal joint, cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones, allowing them to move smoothly against each other. However, in osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to break down and wear away. This causes the bones to rub against each other, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. Over time, the joint may become swollen, develop bone spurs, and the surrounding muscles may weaken.

Common risk factors for developing osteoarthritis include advancing age, obesity, joint injury, repetitive stress on joints (e.g., working out too hard without warming up and cooling down, sports or other activities that require repeating the same movement many times, poor posture when sitting or standing, working with a tool that vibrates, working in the cold), genetics, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.

While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, treatments to manage the symptoms and signs and improve the quality of life exist. These can include lifestyle changes like exercise, weight management, and joint protection techniques. Medications, such as pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, may also be prescribed. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the damaged joint.

It is important to work with healthcare professionals to develop a personalized treatment plan that suits the specific needs of a person diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Regular check-ups and self-care practices can also help manage symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.

Dr. Yeibake Weriwoyingipre Silver

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