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Osteoarthritis often occurs with aging but younger people can acquire it too. When the cartilage that cushions joint bones becomes worn, it no longer cushions the moving bones of the joint. This condition can cause swelling, stiffness and pain in the joint. A number of treatments are recommended to reduce pain and increase mobility.
What Occurs in Osteoarthritis
Joint cartilage is composed of collagen, water and certain proteins. This cartilage may become damaged by repetitive movement of the joints or injury to the area. In the condition of osteoarthritis, the cartilage that helps to cushion the bones is not able to repair itself in the normal way. With this cushion of natural cartilage, the bones begin to wear against each other, causing progressive pain and deterioration of the bone ends. If not properly treated, osteoarthritis can lead to disability.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Early symptoms of osteoarthritis may be a simple ache in the joint or a slight limitation in movement. As the disease progresses, the individual may notice swelling or redness at the site of the joint along with increasing pain with longer periods of movement. Later, swelling can be quite noticeable and can inhibit movement even further.
The pain can occur in any moving joint such as the knees, hips, ankles, elbows, wrists, hands or even the spine. Pain may increase until mobility is significantly affected. The physician will take a full medical history and order x-rays and MRI tests to see how much damage is going on within the joint.
Treatments for Osteoarthritis
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, usually called NSAIDS, are over-the-counter pain relievers that are often recommended for osteoarthritis pain and inflammation. If necessary, cox-2 inhibitor drugs or stronger pain relievers may be prescribed. Corticosteroid injections are often administered by the physician to reduce inflammation and pain. Hyaluronic acid injections can also help relieve pain from osteoarthritis. If the bones of the joint are severely damaged, joint replacement surgery may be indicated.
Home Treatments For Osteoarthritis
Hot packs and ice packs can help to relieve swelling and pain from osteoarthritis. Topical ointments can also be useful in relieving pain and stiffness. Super Blue Stuff OTC Pain Relief Cream contains a unique blend of natural ingredients such as aloe vera, menthol, coriander oil, feverfew, vitamin E and witch hazel with a pleasant peach scent that helps to soothe pain and reduce inflammation.