Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes the cartilage of the joints to wear down after a period of time. While Osteoarthritis is most commonly associated with women over the age of 50, men can get this disease as well. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, two other diseases that affect the joints and may present with similar symptoms, this disease does not affect other organs.
If you are worried that you may have osteoarthritis symptoms, you should talk to a doctor who will be able to diagnose this condition for you. Osteoarthritis symptoms present with pain, which is the dominant symptom when it comes to this condition. Pain and stiffness in the joint may be present when you are standing up after sitting for a long period of time, or after working the joint. While some pain may be considered normal after exercise, the degree of pain and how often you feel it may determine osteoarthritis.
As this condition worsens, you will notice that the osteoarthritis symptoms will also worsen. The pain will tend to increase and the joints will appear stiffer. With some people, the symptoms of this disease are so great that they become disabled. Others do not find the disease that debilitating and can go on with their lives.
The most common joints where you will experience osteoarthritis symptoms are in the spine, knees and shoulders. Many people who have osteoarthritis symptoms in the knees are overweight. In some cases, the condition can be relieved by losing weight.
The cause of osteoarthritis is primarily due to age, although obesity and previous injuries also play a factor in this condition. Men will usually get osteoarthritis prior to the age of 45. After the age of 50, it is mostly women who suffer from this disease. he reason for the disease is that the cartilage is made from proteins that, as we get older, are not as often produced in our system. Consider your body a machine and the joints cogs in the machine. They need oil to keep running smoothly. When they do not get the oil, they stiffen and do not work properly. This is generally what the problem with osteoarthritis is. The joints are not getting the oil they need to function - in this case, the cartilage is drying out.
Many people who experience osteoarthritis symptoms will see a doctor right away. Others will wait until the symptoms get worse and they are too bad to ignore. In some cases, such as with the knees, there is surgery that can be performed to replace the cartilage. Most doctors will recommend supplements as well as over the counter pain medication for osteoarthritis. There are also medications for this disease that can help ease the symptoms.
If you feel that you have the symptoms of this disease, which is presented by a pain and stiffness of certain joints that is getting worse, you should talk to your doctor. There is no reason to suffer in silence with this very common condition that affects millions of people. About 20 million people suffer from osteoarthritis. If you develop the symptoms, see your doctor to learn your options for treating this condition.