Osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis is a characteristic disease of middle age and older people., since as age progresses its prevalence increases. Worldwide, it is one of the main causes of functional disability, especially, in developed countries. This is due to the chronic pain it causes and the decrease or loss of the patient's functional capacity..
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes damage and gradual loss of joint cartilage., weakness of the peritarticular muscles, excessive bone proliferations of the associated joint, ligament laxity, deformation of the subarticular bone and inflammation of the synovial bag.
When the formation and destruction of articular cartilage is in imbalance, it wears away and ends up being destroyed, what leads to osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a disease in which there is a relationship between the patient's genetics and environmental factors., that is to say, there is no single cause. The most frequent are the following:
Obesity: increased body weight is related to more pressure on the joints, which contributes to cartilage degeneration and other damages associated with this disease. Also, obesity also affects metabolic level that increases symptoms.
Age: it is considered a risk factor from the 50 years, as, over the years and aging, the tissues associated with a joint undergo changes in its shape and metabolic state, helping the development of this pathology.
Sex: osteoarthritis affects both sexes, but it has been proven that, after menopause, a peak incidence occurs in the female sex. In addition to having a higher risk of suffering this disease on the hands, feet and knees, in joints in which the prevalence percentage in both sexes is similar, women are more at risk of suffering it more severely at the radiographic level.
High impact activities: this or the patient's occupational occupation influences whether the joint is repeatedly used. There is also more risk in those occupations where weight is lifted or physical work is performed., having more possibility of developing in hands, knees or hips.
Previous joint disease: This can cause damage to the structures that make up the joint, which facilitates a future development of osteoarthritis.
Genetic factors: there are various genes can influence the development of the disease, but they still have to be studied and confirmed.
The most frequent symptoms that help with its diagnosis are pain, joint stiffness of more than 30 minutes, functional and joint limitation, crackles and / or bone deformation.
It should be clarified that not all patients present a picture with all the symptoms since it is a variable disease.
Due to the various factors that affect this disease, it is not always easy to carry out a diagnosis, especially in early stages. Also, there are differences between some joints and others. The 3 main avenues for diagnosis are:
Clinical symptoms + Laboratory analysis, looking for biological markers.
Clinical symptoms + image test, the most used is an x-ray. It should be clarified that an imaging test showing an advanced state of joint degeneration is not synonymous with more pain or limitation..
The treatments that exist are containment and to try to reduce side effects, since the disease has no cure. The main treatments consist of medication to control pain, orthopedic measures, weightloss, education and physical therapy. There is also the surgery that is usually used when the quality of life has decreased.
Rehabilitation in these patients is done through individualized therapeutic exercise., education in pain and life habits, short wave, ultrasound, manual therapy, functional bandage and physical agents. All physiotherapeutic treatment is aimed at reducing pain, inflammation and improve muscle system and joint range
At the Ciudadela clinic we can help with your symptoms or advise you regarding any questions you have about osteoarthritis or other pathological processes about which you have uncertainties. Don't hesitate to come to us!