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Osteoarthritis is defined as a joint disease that causes the deterioration of cartilage or even bone. This disease is characterized by the loss of the flexible material that covers the ends of the bone and the birth of growths of the bone. It thus limits movements and causes more or less severe pain.

What characterizes osteoarthritis

Over time, the risk of osteoarthritis increases more and more. However, the increased risk does not necessarily mean that it is a disease of seniors. One-third of individuals with osteoarthritis were diagnosed before the age of 45. This disease is therefore likely to affect young adults, penalizing them as part of their social and professional development. Sometimes the symptoms of osteoarthritis in young adults are similar or even worse than in the elderly.

Osteoarthritis is a particularly common inflammation. It is associated with any deterioration of the joints. It results in cartilage degradation, inflammation of the synovial tissue (membrane covering the inside of the joint) and changes in the subchondral bone (bone layer hidden below the cartilage. Its main symptoms include stiffness, pain, inflammation and, in some cases, effusions inside the joint cavity. It is a disabling disease, since it promotes the loss of mobility.

The most common signs of osteoarthritis

  • The joints become stiff and swollen, which can cause pain;
  • Movement is restricted;
  • Joint pain increases as physical exertion is made.

Factors of osteoarthritis

Carrying a heavy load in the long term deteriorates cartilage and causes osteoarthritis. The latter most often affects the following joints: hips, hands, knees and lumbar. Previously, osteoarthritis was defined as a form of degenerative arthritis. However, recent studies have shown that this disease is the result of the body’s inability to regenerate damaged joints.

The different manifestations of osteoarthritis

Primary osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is called “primary” when the person who suffers from it was not predisposed to this disease.

Secondary osteoarthritis

Individuals who suffer from a disease of the joint, such as inflammatory disease (lupus, gout, etc.) or metabolic disease (hemochromatosis, diabetes) are predisposed to osteoarthritis. This is also the case for people who have suffered an injury or surgery to the joints.

This predisposition to osteoarthritis makes it possible to affirm that a person suffers from secondary osteoarthritis.

How to treat osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis can only be treated in relation to its symptoms. Treatment primarily involves non-drug care to limit the development of the disease. This care is personalized according to the patient’s condition and the affected joint. Treatment for osteoarthritis often involves:

  • A slimming cure in case of overweight or obesity;
  • A good diet;
  • The practice of a low intensity and regular physical activity (such as walking for example),
  • The lightening of the loads to be carried if there are any;
  • The redevelopment of the patient’s house (installation of ramps in the bathtub, better accessibility to the kitchen, etc.);
  • The use of a cane in case of severe pain;
  • The use of orthopedic insoles in case of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Osteoarthritis is not a curable disease. Nevertheless, its treatment is possible. It should be noted that the manifestation of the disease is not always the same from one patient to another. To relieve pain and inflammation, limit the loss of mobility and help the patient remain independent, it is necessary to combine the right treatments against osteoarthritis.

Call on physiotherapists to treat you!

Physio+ Hamel offers the intervention of its physiotherapists to relieve your osteoarthritis. These professionals have the necessary qualifications to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis and offer you the opportunity to regain all your mobility.

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