Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic disease of the joints. While it can affect any joints in the body, it is most commonly seen in the joints of the fingers and thumb, knees, lower back, hips and neck.
Normally, cartilage covers the end of each bone in a joint. This provides cushioning between the bones and stops the bones rubbing together. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage degrades and breaks down. This causes swelling and pain along with decreased motion in the joint.
Osteoarthritis does worsen with time. Over a course of years, people with the condition may see pain worsen as the cartilage continues to break down. Bone spurs can develop, and fragments of bone may chip off and float in the joint. This causes further inflammation.
Osteoarthritis can affect anyone at any stage of their life. However, it is much more common in people over the age of 65. As people age, the likelihood of experiencing these symptoms continues to increase.
As well as age, there are other risk factors which may increase the likelihood of experiencing the condition. These include obesity, genetics, and overuse or repeated straining of the joint. Luckily there are a range of treatments to help with this condition. In most cases, lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercises and stretching may be beneficial. Getting help from a health professional is always a great place to start. Keeping the joints moving and staying active will also help reduce the likelihood and severity of degenerative change this is where the professionals at Our Chiro Chiropractic can help.