What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic joint condition and has an impact on millions of people worldwide.
Osteoarthritis causes inflammation in the joints and the breakdown and gradual loss of joint cartilage. As the cartilage wears down, a person feels pain and difficulty with movement.
What are the early signs of osteoarthritis?
- Pain, mostly on bending and straightening the knee and with weight bearing.
- Swelling, caused by a building up of fluid in the joint, or by bony growths called osteophytes that form as the cartilage breaks down.
- Tenderness when pressing down on the knee.
- Warmness in the skin over the knee, mainly at the end of the day.
- Stiffness when moving first thing in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Creaking or cracking on bending, known as crepitus.
Common Causes of Osteoarthritis
- Arthritis is a joint problem associated with older people.
- You’re more likely to suffer from Osteoarthritis if your parents or grandparents have the condition.
- Your gender can play a role in osteoarthritis, more women than men develop the symptoms.
- The trauma of a sports injury can cause osteoarthritis.
- If you’re overweight, your risk for developing the condition increases.
One of the most important treatments for people with osteoarthritis is exercise.
Exercise is important to help joint movement and to strengthen the muscles that surround the joints.
Walking or swimming, are suggested because they are less stressful on your joints.
Avoid activities that increase joint pain, such as jogging or high impact aerobics.
It is also good for losing weight.
Improving your posture and soothe stress.
Your GP, or a biokineticist, will discuss the benefits you can expect from an exercise program.