Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and a degenerative joint disease that is prevalent among older adults. It is estimated that 27 million adults over the age of 25 are suffering from this condition in the United States today.1 In day-to-day life, osteoarthritis can limit daily personal activities, restrict work, and make sufferers feel helpless or depressed.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Unlike other forms of arthritis that also affect internal organs, such as rheumatoid arthritis, this form only affects the joints.2 It mostly affects cartilage and can be very painful. It can progress quickly, but most often develops and worsens over a period of many years.
Eroded Cartilage and Bone Spurs
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects cartilage, which is the tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint.3 Healthy cartilage absorbs movement shocks, but osteoarthritis causes the top layer of cartilage to break away.4 Pain is caused when bones rub together without this cartilage protection, and over time, bones may lose their mobility and shape.
Another debilitating condition of osteoarthritis is bone spurs.3,5 These can grow on the edges of joints, and tiny pieces of bone and cartilage can break off. This causes even more pain and long-term damage. In osteoarthritis sufferers, the body attempts to repair bone and cartilage loss by creating bone spurs near the damaged area.
Who Does Osteoarthritis Affect Most?
Older adults most commonly develop osteoarthritis, and this condition worsens with age.3 However, younger people who have suffered joint injuries can develop the condition as well. Some of the other risk factors of developing osteoarthritis include being overweight, genetic defects in joint cartilage, and subjecting the joints to high stress from work or sports.1
What Does Osteoarthritis Feel Like?
One of the most common symptoms of osteoarthrosis is a feeling of stiffness after getting out of bed or after sitting for long periods of time.3 It also feels like swelling and tenderness in the joints, and sufferers may experience a crunching feeling when one bone rubs up on another bone.
During a physical exam, a doctor may conduct x-rays or do an MRI to detect the degree and location of joint damage. He or she may also order blood tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing the joint pain.
What Body Parts Does Osteoarthritis Affect?
The most common places that people develop osteoarthritis are the hips and knees. About one in four people develop hip arthritis by age 85, and nearly one in two people develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis by then.6 However, it can also occur in the hands and spine.
Pain-Killer Alternative Treatments
Osteoarthritis sufferers often take a combination of pain-killers, but these types of medications can be habit-forming and negatively interact with each other. As an alternative, JointFlex offers a clinically proven solution for immediate and long-term pain relief for osteoarthritis, and is designed to deliver soothing ingredients quickly and safely to where you need it most. An eight-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Rheumatology showed dramatic improvements in patients who suffered from chronic osteoarthritis knee pain for an average of 10 years.7
In addition to this powerful non-prescription cream, osteoarthritis sufferers should also balance the amount of exercise they get with rest from stress on the joints and ensure their diet supports a healthy weight.1 For example, strengthening exercises with light weights, low-impact aerobic exercises, range-of-motion exercises, and balance/agility exercises can help people with osteoarthritis sustain the use of their joints for a longer period of time.8
REFERENCES FOR JOINT PAIN RELATED TO OSTEOARTHRITIS
1. Osteoarthritis (OA). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/osteoarthritis.htm.
2. Dewing, K. A., Setter, S. M., & Slusher, B. A. (2012). Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis 2012: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment. National Practitioner Healthcare Foundation. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.nphealthcarefoundation.org/media/filer_public/c0/d1/c0d118bc-16a4-4114-a5cc-69901adfb298/osteoarthritis_and_ra_2012.pdf.
3. Kontzias, A. Osteoarthritis (OA). (2017 July). The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/joint-disorders/osteoarthritis-oa.
4. Konstantakos, E. (2016 May 10). What is cartilage? Arthritis Health. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.arthritis-health.com/types/joint-anatomy/what-cartilage.
5. Burke, S. (2016 December 7). What are lumbar osteophytes (Bone spurs)? Arthritis Health. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.arthritis-health.com/blog/visual-guide-lumbar-osteophytes-bone-spurs.
6. Arthritis by the numbers. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved November 1, 2018 from https://www.arthritis.org/Documents/Sections/About-Arthritis/arthritis-facts-stats-figures.pdf.
7. Petrella, R. J., & Bartha, C. (2000 September). Home based exercise therapy for older patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized clinical trial. The Journal of Rheumatology, 27, 2215-2221. Retrieved November 1, 2018 from ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12333369_Home_based_exercise_therapy_for_older_patients_with_knee_osteoarthritis_A_randomized_clinical_trial.
8. DeVries, C. (2016 February 24). When I’m in pain, should I exercise or rest? Arthritis Health. Retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://www.arthritis-health.com/blog/when-im-pain-should-i-exercise-or-rest.
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