Osteoarthritis sounds complicated, but it is actually the most common type of arthritis seen in patients. Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that is caused by the body’s wear and tear on the cartilage surrounding joints. It can be quite painful, but understanding what osteoarthritis is all about and who is at risk can help you to better manage your condition.
Susan Baker M.D. is a Board-certified rheumatologist and internist in Beverly Hills. If you are suffering from an autoimmune or inflammatory disease, Dr. Baker can help! Schedule a consultation with Dr. Baker today by calling (310) 274-7770.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that helps your joints move without friction between the bones. Over time, this protective cartilage can wear down. With osteoarthritis, the slippery part of cartilage becomes rough. The continual wear of the cartilage causes pain and may even cause bones at joints to rub together.
Osteoarthritis can affect any part of your body that is jointed, but it is most commonly found on joints in your hands, neck, lower back, knees, and hips. While there’s no cure – and the condition can worsen over time – there are ways to manage the pain and debilitating symptoms that go along with osteoarthritis. Knowing the symptoms and risk factors is a start to understanding and managing the disease.
Degenerative Joint Disease Symptoms
How do you know for sure that the pain and discomfort you’re experiencing is degenerative joint disease? Some common symptoms for the condition are: pain, stiffness, tenderness, loss of flexibility, a “grating sensation” while the joint is moving, and bone spurs, which are lumps that form around the affected joint. Women are more likely than men to develop osteoarthritis. Obesity, older age, bone deformities, joint injuries, and certain occupations that require frequent use of the same joints over and over can put a person at higher risk for developing osteoarthritis. Certain medical conditions like diabetes and gout can also increase your risk of developing degenerative joint disease.
Luckily, sufferers of osteoarthritis have many treatment options available to them, some for which a prescription isn’t even required! Exercise, over-the-counter pain relievers, topical ointments, hot and cold compresses, and weight control are some things that you can keep in mind when managing your osteoarthritis pain on your own.
Stretching and continuing to use your joints is an important part of osteoarthritis management. Staying active helps to manage your pain and keeps extra weight off the joints, which could add to your arthritis pain. Steroid injections, stronger pain medicine, and Hyaluronic Acid Injections can be a part of your physicians recommended treatments prescribed.
For more information, visit WebMD.com.
Contact a Beverly Hills Rheumatologist Today!
If you’re suffering from osteoarthritis and looking for ways to manage your pain, look no further than Dr. Baker. As a Beverly Hills rheumatologist well-versed in pain management and the treatment of arthritis and other like conditions, Dr. Baker is experienced in diagnosing rheumatic diseases, prescribing pain management techniques, and recommending how to best manage conditions like osteoarthritis.
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