Arthritis Essay, Research Paper
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes the cartilage in your joints to break down. Cartilage is a smooth substance that protects the ends of your bones and helps your joints move. Osteoarthritis becomes more common as people get older. To diagnose this disease, your doctor will ask about your and your families? health history. X-rays and an exam may also be needed.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint. Weight-bearing joints, such as the hip and knee, are often affected in both men and women. Hand joints, however, are affected more in women than in men. Some of the more common symptoms of this disease include:
?Joint pain and stiffness. Long periods of rest or using a joint too long or too hard can make pain and stiffness worse.
?Joint swelling or tenderness.
?Joints that have lost normal shape and motion.
?Entire body fatigue.
?Loss of appetite
What You Can Do To Feel Better
Osteoarthritis is an ongoing problem. You can help control symptoms by exercising and watching your weight. Using special tools* also helps make life easier.
*Use Special Tools
Even simple tasks can be difficult when your joints hurt. The special tools and aids listed can make things easier by reducing strain and protecting your joints. Your healthcare provider or occupational therapist can help you obtain these helpful items:
?Long-handled reachers or grabbers
?Jar openers and button threaders
?Splints for your wrists or other joints
?Large grips for pencils, garden tools, and other hand-held objects
Is Osteoarthritis A Genetic Disease?
Although much has been learned about the inflammatory process leading to osteoarthritis, researchers have yet to uncover the factors that lead to this devastating self-attack. One prevalent theory is that a combination of factors triggers this disease, including genetic susceptibility, an abnormal autoimmune response, and a viral infection.
How Is Osteoarthritis Treated?
The treatment of osteoarthritis involves medications and life-style changes. Many drugs are used for managing the pain and slowing the progression of osteoarthritis, but no medical program has been found to cure the disease. Some experts believe that no single drug will ever cure osteoarthritis because of the different immune system and many other factors that affect the disease at various times.
Make Exercise Part Of Your Life
Gentle exercise can help lessen your pain. Keep the following in mind when you work out:
?Always consult your physician before starting a new exercise program.
?Choose exercises that improve joint motion and make your muscles stronger.
?Try low-impact sports, such as doing exercises in a warm pool, walking, or biking.
?Don?t push yourself too hard at first. Slowly build up your endurance over time.
?If pain and stiffness increase, cut back on workout.
Is osteoarthritis curable?
No, medical groups have found no cure for osteoarthritis.
Is osteoarthritis in peoples? genes?
Yes, you are at a greater risk of obtaining this disease if it is in your genetic makeup.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes cartilage in your joints to break down.
Can Osteoarthritis be fatal?
No, osteoarthritis cannot kill you.
Is surgery ever needed?
Yes, for people with severe joint damage, surgery can decrease pain and improve movement.
How do get osteoarthritis?
There is no one factor that leads to osteoarthritis. A good diet, exercise, stretching, and an active lifestyle can help prevent this disease, which sometimes may be infallible.
Medications May Help
Medications can?t cure osteoarthritis, but they can help relieve pain and stiffness, and improve physical function. Your doctor may prescribe one or more medications. He or she may also suggest over-the-counter ones that you can take. Some common medications are: