Osteoarthritis is a progressive joint condition that affects one in six Canadians, according to the Arthritis Society of Canada. It is the most common form of arthritis, with estimates saying that by 2035, the number will go up to one in four Canadians.
Early diagnosis can control the severity of osteoarthritis. But for this, people must understand what the symptoms and risks associated with the condition are.
That’s why we’ve outlined the common causes and treatment options for osteoarthritis right here.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition where the cartilage protecting the ends of bones breaks down. It can occur in any joint in the body, but the joints most commonly affected are your knees, hips, hands and spine. Symptoms include joint pain, swelling and stiffness, but can also affect your daily function.
What are the common causes of osteoarthritis?
While osteoarthritis was previously thought to be a natural result of “wear and tear,” recent studies have shown that it’s more a result of the body’s inability to repair damaged joint tissues.
The following is a list of the risk factors that can increase the chances of osteoarthritis developing:
- Age: According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), a large percentage of the population shows signs of some form of arthritis by the time they turn 70. OA, too, is common in older people, but it isn’t a natural result of ageing.
- Gender: Women are more at risk of developing OA than men.
- Obesity:Excess body weight puts additional strain on your body and accelerates the rate of tissue degeneration. Moreover, fat tissue is known to release substances in the body that can aggravate joint inflammation.
- Previous Injury:If the patient has a history of joint injury, they are more likely to develop OA.
- Occupational requirements:Some occupations—such as professional sports and construction—require people to repeated strain on certain joints.
- Lifestyle:Limited physical exercise and an overall sedentary lifestyle increase the chances of a person developing OA.
How to treat osteoarthritis?
Depending on the extent of the damage and the pain you’re experiencing, your doctor will recommend one of these treatments:
- Medication: Taking pain medication, such as Tylenol, can help ease the discomfort associated with mild to moderate OA. However, it does not treat the condition directly—it only suppresses the symptoms.
- Physical Therapy: Some exercises can help improve flexibility and reduce pain. Physical therapy can often prevent the situation from worsening.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgical procedures such as joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) can be employed to remove damaged joints and substitute them with plastic or metal parts.
- PRP Therapy: Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is a minimally invasive technique that injects growth factors into the affected joint. This triggers the body’s natural healing response and repairs the damage.
PRP Therapy is becoming increasingly popular because the recovery period is minimal, and the probability of developing complications is much lower compared to surgical procedures.
Make an appointment at our clinic today for regenerative therapy by calling 1 855 847 3975.