Arthritis is generally defined by inflammation in the joints. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is the degeneration of the bone and cartilage. Osteoarthritis often affects weight-bearing joints such as the hip, knee, spine, and thumb. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that gets worse over time and can affect function in your daily activities.
Pain, Joint deformities, Swelling and stiffness in the joints, tenderness, bone spurs
Hereditary, obesity, joint injuries, repetitive motion of the joint, female, age
TREATMENT consists of use of non-prescriptive and prescriptive medications, physical and occupational therapies, self-management and if necessary, surgery, to help reduce symptoms or improve functional abilities.
SELF MANAGEMENT Physical exercise and ultimately losing weight reduces stress on the joints and can decrease pain and improve function. Use of ice packs and heating pads can also reduce pain and stiffness. Know your limits-don’t overdo. Balance activity with rest. Talking to your doctor and following their recommended treatment plan will offer you the support you need for optimal self-management
PHYSICAL THERAPY Physical Therapy can provide exercises to help with joint pain. They can teach you gentle stretching to help with morning stiffness. They can teach you proper body mechanics to help alleviate stress on joints. For example, the proper way to get in and out of a car or lift objects.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Occupational Therapists can train you how to protect your joints by using adaptive equipment (like·a long handles shoe horn) and if needed custom fit prefabricated splints not only to reduce stress on joints but to compensate for loss of function and pain. Occupational therapists can also assess your home and make recommendations for home modifications to simplify movement and optimize independence.
SURGERY Joint surgery can remove damaged parts and replace them with new man-made parts. Surgery is not recommended for everyone. Replacing a joint can aid in the reduction of pain and help you move with greater ease. The most common types of joint replacements are hips, knees, and shoulders. A physical and occupational therapy program is usually recommended post joint replacement to regain motion, strength, and prior function.