Hip, knee, and hand osteoarthritis are three common locations for this degenerative joint disease. This occurs when a joint's cartilage starts to deteriorate, and in some cases, the entire cartilage wears away, leaving the bones to rub against one another. Pain, stiffness, and swelling may result from it. The cartilage undergoes gradual changes that worsen over time and lead to functional loss or disability. The term "wear and tear" arthritis was coined to describe the most prevalent type of arthritis in seniors. Over 32.5 million US adults have osteoarthritis, which is more common in men ages 45 and above.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis range from mild joint pain and stiffness to chronic, excruciating pain but some people with osteoarthritis do not experience pain. Hands, the lower back, the neck, and weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, and feet are where osteoarthritis most frequently develops. Physical disability can result from osteoarthritis in any of these joints.
Stiffness - Joint stiffness might be most apparent in the morning or after inactivity. For instance, if your hands are affected, you might not be able to fully extend your fingers or make a fist.
Loss of Flexibility - Your joint might not be able to move through its entire range of motion. It's critical to continue working out to support your joints because osteoarthritis can limit your flexibility and mobility and lead to a lower quality of life.
Grating Sensation and Crackling or Popping Sound - When using the joint, you might experience grating sensations and hear crackling or popping sounds. A crackling or grating sound called "crepitus" may be produced when an OA-affected joint moves. Roughening of the normally smooth surfaces inside the joint is probably what causes this sensation.
Bone Spurs - The osteoarthritis-related joint damage is the primary cause of bone spurs. Bony growths called "bone spurs" form at the ends of bones. In your joints, where bones meet one another, bone spurs frequently develop.
Osteoarthritis symptoms and effects, particularly in elderly people who live alone, can lower people's quality of life. Simple tasks may gradually become difficult, and with time they may become impossible to complete altogether.
Risk Factors of Osteoarthritis
While osteoarthritis is common among the elderly, some factors increase a person’s risk of developing OA such as:
Osteoarthritis is exacerbated by excess body weight in several ways, and your risk increases with weight. Weight gain places additional strain on weight-bearing joints like your hips and knees. Additionally, fat tissue makes proteins that can harm your joints by inflaming the area around them.
Osteoarthritis risk can be raised by injuries, such as those sustained in sports or from accidents. Your risk of osteoarthritis can increase even if an injury happened years ago but seemed to heal.
Certain metabolic diseases such as diabetes and hemochromatosis (too much iron in the blood) can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Consistent Joint Strain
Osteoarthritis may eventually develop in a joint if your work or your sports activity subject it to repetitive stress.
How Can You Manage Osteoarthritis?
Since there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, medical professionals concentrate on providing you with pain relief, improving your mobility, and delaying the progression of the condition.
Keep an Eye on Your Weight
If you are overweight or obese, controlling your weight can lessen the strain on your joints, which may lessen pain, stop further injuries, and increase mobility.
A safe, comprehensive exercise regimen can ease joint pain and stiffness while boosting flexibility, muscle strength, and stamina. In addition to low-impact sports like walking, cycling, swimming, or tai chi, try balance and stretching exercises. Keep in mind to begin slowly and give yourself time to get used to a new level of activity.
A physical therapist can demonstrate exercises to you that will improve your flexibility, decrease pain, and strengthen the muscles around your joint. Regularly engaging in gentle exercise on your own, such as walking or swimming, can be equally beneficial.
Your doctor might advise surgery if other treatments are ineffective and the joint damage is severe. A small piece of bone is removed during an osteotomy procedure to relieve pressure on the affected joint. Joint replacement surgery removes all or a portion of the damaged joint and replaces it with a plastic, metal, or ceramic joint.
In-Home Senior Care
While ensuring that your loved one is secure and well cared for, in-home senior care helps to reduce some of your stress. You can gain from in-home senior care, which gives you the freedom to take a short break and the assurance that your loved one is in good hands.
In Need of Assistance? We Got You!
Unified Pledge is a leading provider of in-home senior care solutions in Palm Beach County and Broward County. We offer free, no-obligation in-home consultations, cost estimates, and insurance policy benefit reviews.
Give us a call so we can help you create a custom home care solution for yourself or your loved one.