Arthritis is a family of diseases that affect the joints. Osteoarthritis is considered to be one of the most common forms. Mostly, adults over the age of 60 have Osteoarthritis at some level. On this page, Dr. Jon Conner Cuevas DC, a leading chiropractor at Divine Spine Chiropractic Studio, will talk about symptoms and Osteoarthritis treatment options available in Seattle. Contact us if you are suffering from Osteoarthritis in Seattle.
Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis
Most people first experience mild symptoms. Over time, symptoms start to progress and become worse. Common symptoms may include:
- Pain is the most common symptom
- Pain may be worse when the person is active
- Tenderness and stiffness in affected joints
- The appearance of bone spurs
- Inflammation in and around the affected joints
- A grating sound when moving the joints
- Reduced flexibility in the joints
Causes Of Osteoarthritis
Wearing the cartilage that supports a joint is a primary cause. Factors that can affect a patient’s risk for osteoarthritis include:
- The risk increases as the patient ages
- There is a higher prevalence of osteoarthritis among female patients
- Obesity causes excess pressure on joints, which can also increase the risk
- Injuries to joints can result in the wearing of cartilage; thus resulting in osteoarthritis
- A family history of osteoarthritis could also indicate a greater risk
- Consistent stress on certain joints increases the risk too
Temporary Pain Relief For Osteoarthritis
Over-the-counter medication is a good option for reducing pain, as well as swelling. This includes the use of NSAIDs, acetaminophen, and topical creams. Hot and cold therapy may also provide temporary relief for symptoms. A patient may also request the administration of injectable steroids in the area affected.
Long Term Problems Due To Untreated Osteoarthritis
When osteoarthritis is not treated, it can result in a faster progression of the disease. As bones rub on bones during movement, damage to these structures, as well as joints, occurs. In turn, this could result in more severe disability over time.
Treatment For Osteoarthritis
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Surgery is used when other options do not work. Patients also need to implement specific lifestyle changes; managing weight, eating healthy, and exercising can help slow the progression. Electric nerve stimulation, acupuncture, and chiropractic care may also be recommended to the patient.
Does Medical Insurance Cover Osteoarthritis Treatment?
It depends on the specific insurance program and the provider. Medicare generally provides cover for treatments related to osteoarthritis. Some alternative treatments are also covered, mainly due to a higher effectiveness rate and a lower price.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Osteoarthritis
The condition develops due to a deterioration of cartilage. The cartilage in question surrounds the areas where bones come together at your joints. As the cartilage deteriorates, bones start to rub against each other since the cushioning is breaking down.
Arthritis is a general term that refers to a family of different joint-related diseases. Osteoarthritis is a specific type of arthritis related to years of wear and tear on cartilage tissues.
Osteoarthritis is not inherited, but some genetic factors could increase the risk of developing the condition. Currently, it is not sure how the pattern of inheritance works, but a family history makes a person more likely to develop osteoarthritis themselves.
There are two specific natural supplements often recommended for people with arthritis. These include chondroitin and glucosamine. Many people use the two together for more effective results.
A patient’s family history is taken into account, as well as their medical record. A physical examination is done. X-rays are also helpful to determine if it is osteoarthritis and the severity of the condition.
It is possible to find relief through chiropractic care. However, this particular technique is most useful for people with osteoarthritis that affects the back and the neck.
Adjustments made by a chiropractor could reduce cytokine production in the body. These are proteins that have a role to play in the regulation of inflammation.
Deep tissue massages that target affected areas may relieve stress, as well as the accumulation of tension. Massage is also a practical option for reducing inflammation and improving the patient’s mobility in their joints.
No cure exists for osteoarthritis, regardless of the area in the body that is affected. There are treatments, however, that can slow the progression and provide an effective reduction in symptoms.
Also known as cervical spondylosis, arthritis in the neck is characterized by stiffness, pain, and swelling in the area. This type of arthritis also causes headaches, muscle spasms in the shoulders, the neck, and poor balance. There could also be a grinding noise when the neck is moved.
There are four stages of this condition:
- Stage 1 is also known as the minor stage
- Stage 2 is called the mild stage
- Stage 3 is more moderate
- Stage 4 is the most advanced phase of osteoarthritis
Taking the right supplements and medications can be helpful. People should also avoid gaining excess weight and ensure they frequently exercise, as these factors affect joint health.
Acute pain is often one of the first symptoms, but this can, later on, develop into chronic pain symptoms. It also depends on the stage of osteoarthritis – an advanced stage may result in more consistent pain.
In rare cases, osteoarthritis has been noted to cause crippling effects in patients. This does not affect all patients, but the condition can still have a major impact even when it does not cripple the patient.
In most cases, a general practitioner will not diagnose or treat osteoarthritis. Instead, the patient will be referred to either an orthopedic surgeon or an orthopedist.
A combination of treatments is often used. Glucosamine and chondroitin are considered excellent options for pain management, but some people find Duloxetine a practical option.
Years of wear and tear on the cartilage that provides a cushioning effect between bones and joints. As the cartilage wears away, bone-on-bone movement occurs.
The disease may progress to a more advanced stage faster. This could result in more severe pain and inflammation and cause significant stiffness in the affected joints.
Hyaluronic acid is now commonly used in the form of an injection. Some patients also have experienced improvements with the use of platelet-rich plasma injections.