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Osteoarthritis in older people

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Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is seen especially among older people. People with osteoarthritis usually have joint pain and some limitations of movement which interfere with daily living, Osteoarthritis mostly affects cartilage, the hard but slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they meet to form a joint. Osteoar - thritis most often occurs in the hands (at the ends of the fingers and thumbs), (spine neck and lover back), knees and hips. Many of these joints are carrying quite a high load from body weight.

Although osteoarthritis is more common in older people, younger people can develop it – usually as a result of a joint injury, a joint malfor – mation, or a genetic defect in joint cartilage, It is also more likely to occur in people who are overweight and in those with jobs that stress particular joints over a long period of time. When the surface layer of the cartilage breaks down and wears away, the bones under the cartilage rub together. This causes pain, swelling and loss of motion of the joint. Over time, the joint may lose its normal shape.

People with osteoarthritis usually experience stiffness in a joint after getting out of bed or sitting for a long time. Some may feel joint pain when moving up and down the stairs, doing heavy exercise, or sitting in a wrong posture. Some may experience swelling and redness around the knee or the ankle.

Osteoarthritis is treated using pain management and improvement of the function of the joints. This involves physical therapy of the joints together with medication to relieve joint pain and swelling. In some cases, surgery may be required for some joints, Which the doctor will suggest.

Weight control and exercise are other ways for the prevention and relief of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis patients who are overweight should try to lose weight. This helps reduce the stress on weight bearing joints, limits further injury and increase mobility. A healthy diet and regular aerobic exercise helps reduce the body weight.

Exercise is one of the best treatments for osteoarthritis. Proper exercise strengthens the muscle around the joint.It helps realign the load direction to the joint and a lower load is felt by the joint. Patients should avoid some aerobic exercises which create too much load on certain joint such as the ankles, Consult the doctor or the physical therapist to find out the best exercise for you especially when a joint is sore or swollen.

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