Affecting 30 million individuals within the U.S. alone, osteoarthritis is a debilitating and painful condition that results because of the wearing away of cartilage, creating friction in the joints as unprotected bones rub against one another. Even though it can occur in any joint, it’s most prevalent in the hands, hips, knees, lower back, and neck.
Since it’s so prevalent, it is important for everyone to understand the basic fundamentals of osteoarthritis and what you should do in the event that you or someone you care about is diagnosed. The following information can help.
- What is the cause of osteoarthritis? Despite the fact that a specific cause is not known, it frequently impacts the elderly and those whose bodies are not able to fix joint tissue.
- Am I at risk? There are specific risk factors:
- Age (most typical in those over age 40)
- Trauma or overuse of a joint
- Gender (more widespread in females than males)
- Occupation (individuals carrying out repetitive tasks)
- Specific medical conditions (particularly other types of arthritis, joint or cartilage abnormalities, misalignment associated with ankle, knee, or hip, bone diseases)
- What are typical arthritis symptoms? At first, there may be no obvious symptoms, but as osteoarthritis becomes more serious, signs range from stiffness, swelling, and pain that is more severe when the joint has been at rest for a period, as well as tenderness, warmth, and difficulty moving the joint, and/or a cracking sound when the joint is moved.
- How will the doctor diagnose osteoarthritis? The physician’s examination will incorporate tests to exclude other possible causes for the pain and swelling inherent in osteoarthritis, including x-rays, MRIs, blood and joint fluid tests.
- What treatments are available? While there’s no cure or treatment to undo the damage brought on by osteoarthritis, symptoms are usually relieved through pain medications, physical therapy and exercise, lifestyle changes, assistive devices, and/or surgery.
- Can vitamin supplements help? While some researchers have shown that individuals with inadequate intake of vitamins C, D and K can create a higher danger of developing osteoarthritis, the American College of Rheumatology has found that taking supplements of these vitamins, as well as calcium and omega-3 fatty acids, has not been proven to be safe or effective. It’s extremely important to always check with your medical professional before you take any supplements.
Compassionate Nursing Services can help those with osteoarthritis in a variety of ways, including:
- Help with light housework, laundry, along with other responsibilities which are challenging or lead to pain
- Planning and preparing healthy, nutritious meals
- Providing inspiration and encouragement to participate in doctor-advised exercises
- Offering transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and procedures
- Picking up prescriptions, grocery shopping, and running other errands
- And many others
Contact us at 314-432-4312 for additional resources related to osteoarthritis or any other condition typical to aging, and to ask about a free in-home consultation. As one of the top-rated providers of home care solutions in St. Louis, MO, trust our highly skilled, fully trained and experienced care staff to improve wellbeing for someone you love.