While arthritis indicates the inflammation of the joints, osteoarthritis is known as its wear and tear counterpart. Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative disease affecting joints by breaking down its cartilage. Joints are cushioned by cartilage that forms a protective barrier between the bones. This allows them to glide over rather than rub against each other. Osteoarthritis occurs when this cartilage wears down due to overuse or injury, causing inflammation and pain.
Generally occurring in hands, knees, hips, ankle, the hindfoot, or the midfoot, this common form of arthritis may or may not require treatment depending on its severity. For example, osteoarthritis in the foot tends to occur in the joint between the big toe and its long bone, termed the first metatarsophalangeal joint. This form of osteoarthritis could be managed by wearing suitable footwear, unlike knee arthritis, which may require a comprehensive treatment plan depending on the severity.
Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis
The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and stiffness of the affected joints. There are other symptoms and its severity varies greatly for each individual and the affected joint. These symptoms include:
- Pain and stiffness of the affected joint
- Limited motion of the affected joint
- Swelling of the affected joint
- Bone spurs
Causes of osteoarthritis
Various factors can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. These include injury, overuse, anatomical anomalies, biomechanical problems, flat feet, or high arches. Other factors that may contribute to osteoarthritis include:
- Age: The risk of developing osteoarthritis increases with age as ageing causes deterioration of bones, muscles, and joints.
- Weight Problems: Stress is placed on joints, promoting inflammation.
- Joint Injury: Overusing joints that have yet to have recovered from an injury can aggravate the inflammation.
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Osteoarthritis diagnosis and treatment in Malaysia
Since osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, it may be hard to diagnose until painful symptoms are experienced. During an assessment, a professional will conduct physical examinations and lab tests. The symptoms of osteoarthritis are manageable. Therefore, when undergoing osteoarthritis treatment available in Malaysia, it may include medication or assistive devices. Surgery may be suggested as the last resort for severe wear and tear of the cartilage and if damage of the joints is irreversible.
Contact us to manage your osteoarthritis symptoms and receive comprehensive treatment for the disease in Malaysia.