Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone and is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people globally.
Osteoarthritis is one of those dull commonplace disorders that are unpleasant to both the clinicians and the patients too with studies showing that it is generally not only considered to be an inevitable accompaniment of advancing years or consequence of ageing but some other causes more subtle and compelling to cause gradual degradation of the joints.
A study by WALTON W Ebong, a clinician in the orthopedic unit, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2005, showed that eighty-one patients with 116 osteoarthritic knees were seen at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan in 6 years. The disease was significantly commoner among Nigerians below the age of 50 than Caucasians; 39.5% of the patients were less than 50 years old, compared with 1.1% of Caucasians.
So what could be causing this disease?
Osteoarthritis has been described several times as joints failing under strain and we also know that joints develop abnormally or become abnormal as a result of damage or injury. Osteoarthritis then arises from normal stress acting on a joint that has lost some of the biomechanical qualities which would normally have enabled it to absorb the stress due primarily to the kind of work or lifestyles or sports we partake in. Added to this is the presence of a generalized susceptibility to osteoarthritis due to genetic or metabolic factor, which interplays with local factors of stress or injury to produce osteoarthritis at certain joint sites.
How many people have osteoarthritis in UK?
In the UK, 8.75 million people in the UK have sought treatment for osteoarthritis.*
• 33% of people aged 45 years and over
• 49% of women and 42% of men of those aged 75 years and over.
Women are more likely than men to have sought treatment.
How many people have osteoarthritis in England?
7.3 million people in England have sought treatment for osteoarthritis. This represents 33% of the population over 45*.
Which joints are affected by osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint. The knee is the most common site in the body for osteoarthritis, followed by the hip. It’s common to have it in more than joint.
4.11 million people in England are estimated to have osteoarthritis of the knee (around 18% of the population aged 45 and over) and 2.46 million people in England have osteoarthritis of the hip (around 11% of the population aged 45 and over)**.
The estimated number of people in England, aged 45 or over, who have sought treatment for osteoarthritis by joint site
Joint Percentage of population Estimated number (million)
Knee* 18% 4.7
Hip** 11% 2.46
Hand and wrist* 6% 1.3
Foot and ankle* 7% 1.48
Two or more sites* 7% 1.46
See more at: http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/data-and-statistics/osteoarthritis.aspx#sthash.UmcGmaQH.dpuf
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Symptoms of osteoarthritis can range from mild to severe and debilitating that could be crippling.
They may include:
• Aching joints, or feeling of burning or sharp pain. For some people, the pain may come and go and for some there can be constant pain or pain while they sleep which may be a sign that the arthritis is getting worse.
• When you have arthritis, getting up in the morning can be hard. Joints may feel stiff and creaky for a short time, until you get moving. Sitting for a long time could make your joints stiff too.
• The muscles around the joint may get weaker due to disuse or limited functional movement. Arthritis in the knee is a good example.
• Osteoarthritis of the knee is a good example that could cause festering swelling on the knee joints.
• Your joints can start to look like they are the wrong shape, especially as arthritis gets worse.
• Reduced range of motion and loss of use of the joint. As your arthritis gets worse, you may not be able to fully bend, flex, or extend your joints. Or you may not be able to use them at all.
• Your joints may make crunching, creaking sounds. This creaking may also occur in a normal joint. But in most cases, it doesn’t hurt and doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the joint.
The pain and stiffness of arthritis can disrupt sleep. And sleep problems may make it harder to cope with pain. Arthritis of the spine can also narrow the openings that make space for the spinal cord and for the nerves that branch off the spinal cord (spinal nerves). This is called spinal stenosis. It can lead to pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves. This pressure can cause pain, weakness, or numbness.
What are the risk factors for Osteoarthritis?
• Obesity/overweight. Extra weight puts added stress on your joints and can change the normal shape of the joint.
• Joint injury. A single major injury due to trauma and sports injury to a joint or several minor injuries can cause cartilage damage over time. Activities that put repeated stress on a joint include squatting, kneeling, or heavy lifting common to some sports and jobs.
• Sedentary life/Lack of exercise, can cause your muscles and joints to get weak and stiff.
• Getting older. Age is not a direct cause of arthritis, but as you get older you’re more likely to have symptoms. Still, not all older adults will have joint pain.
• Loose or dysfunctional joints or knees that bend outward (bowleg) or knees that bend toward each other (knock knees), for example, can cause an imbalance in the joints, because the cartilage wears down at an uneven rate.
• A previous infection of the joint.
• Other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis.
• Metabolic or endocrine problems. These include a buildup of iron (hemochromatosis), copper (Wilson’s disease), or calcium (hyperparathyroidism) in the blood and tissues of the body.
How do we diagnose your osteoarthritis?
Our physiotherapists will be interested in taking a full history of your condition and your symptoms.
To help us diagnose the source of low back pain, be specific in describing the type of pain, when it started, related symptoms, and any history of chronic conditions. Our physiotherapist will need to order X-rays, CT or MRI scans before starting treatment.
If osteoarthritis pain has left you inactive for a long time, Ageless Physiotherapy Clinic highly specialized physical rehabilitation programs can help you strengthen your muscles and get back to your daily activities guiding you through stretches, strength exercises, and low-impact cardio, and different types of therapy programs like heat therapy, electrotherapy, massage therapy, and other manipulative therapy techniques you can use to relieve the joints of pain.
At Ageless Physiotherapy Clinic, our interest is to help you alleviate the pains and dysfunctions that might have been caused by osteoarthritis. We make use of the best diagnostic tools and treatment protocols which have helped us to arrive at our goals quickly.
Why dont you make an appointment with us right now at :
19B, Ogundana Street,
Hilton Bus Stop,
Allen Avenue, Ikeja.
You can call us on 08139491652/ 08055463055