What is Osteoarthritis?
Imagine a life without joint or joint movement. Life can never be the same again. The joint is core to every movement and activity we undertake. There are however some health conditions that limits the joint movement through affecting its structure. Arthritis refers to the swelling of the joints which limits its functioning. Many forms of arthritis affect the joints. The most common form of arthritis is the Osteoarthritis (OA) which affects millions of people across the globe. It is sometimes referred to as osteoarthritis or arthrosis. The disease affects any joint in the body such as the toe, knee, hip among other joints.
How It Affects The Joint
The disease affects the cartilage layer of the joint. The cartilage layer is a flexible connective tissue that cushions the end of the and facilitates the free movement of the joint. The disease facilitates the breakdown of the cartilage layer thus hindering the free movement of the joint. The reduction of the cartilage layer increases the exposure of the rough surface of the bone. The breakdown of the cartilage and the bone exposure result to the whole joint parts to be active. The affected joint tries to recover from the effect of the wear. In the process of joint recovery, the joint can deforms and lose its shape. The synovium that holds the synovial fluid thickens produced more synovial fluid that results in the swelling of the joints. The ligaments and the capsule of the joint contracts and thickens in the process of trying to hold the joints to be more stable.
The process of cartilage destruction and the thickening of the synovium result to severe pain to the patients. For some people, the joint recovery process is immediate and alleviate all the pain. Severe Osteoarthritis is, however, associate with severe pain. The breakdown of the of the cartilage and the effect of Osteoarthritis develops gradually and can take a long time for it becomes severe. At an advanced stage of Osteoarthritis, the exposure of the bones grinds each other and this friction results to wear and tear and breakdown of the bones. Sometimes, the fragment of the bone breaks off and are suspended within the joint. The grinding over of the bones results in increased pain. A slight movement of the joints can result in a lot of pain. In rare cases, the breakdown and inflammatory of the body result to the development of enzymes and proteins that further destroys the cartilage and increase the pain intensity.
Who Can Be Affected
Osteoarthritis can affect any person although there are other predisposing factors that increase the risk of a person to having the condition. The disease is very common and more frequently affects the aged group. In the severe stages, the disease limits the patient from undertaking normal activities that involve joint movement. The majority of those who have the condition have said that they can no longer undertake most of what thy used to do.