OSTEOARTHRITIS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW By: Domenico Oppedisano

What is Osteoarthritis (OA)?

  • OA is the body’s failed attempt to repair damaged joint tissues.
  • With OA there is a breakdown of cartilage, which is the elastic material that covers and protects your body’s joints.
  • Joints most commonly affected: Knees, hips, hands, neck, back, and big toes
  • OA can result in pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of movement.

How is OA diagnosed?

  • Currently, there is no single test to diagnose OA.
  • Your physician will discuss your symptoms, look for specific signs, examine your joints, and may order x-rays to further assist in making a diagnosis.

What are the causes of OA?

  • There is no single cause that predisposes an individual to OA.
  • Risk factors associated with OA include:
  1. Age – Although OA can occur at any age, its likelihood increases with age. This does not mean OA is inevitable, as any people age without experiencing OA.
  2. Family History – A genetic component does exist. However, just because a family member has OA does not guarantee that you will also experience it.
  3. Excess Weight – Excess weight puts additional stress on the joints, further accelerating joint breakdown.
  4. Previous Joint Injury – An initial injury may have damaged the joint and affected how the joint moves.

Who is Affected?

  • OA is the most common form of arthritis, particularly amongst individuals 40 years of age and older.
  • OA affects 1 in 10 Canadians.
  • The prevalence of OA increases with age and it is more common in women than men across all ages.

Early Signs of OA*

  • Joint Stiffness: Occurs on most days and it is usually short-lived (30 minutes or less), following inactivity such as waking up in the morning.
  • Joint Swelling: Swelling in the joint(s) resulting in reduced range of motion.
  • Joint Crepitus: Joint(s) may produce a crack or popping sound upon movement.
  • Pain: Often worsens after using the joint and improves with rest.

*Note: OA affects everyone differently, and often progresses over a period of months to years.

Managing OA

  • Currently, there is no cure for OA. However, there are a variety of options offered here at Woodbridge Avenue Chiropractic & Wellness Centre that can help in managing OA-related symptoms and improving your overall function. These options include:
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Massage Therapy
  • Healthy Eating and Weight Control
  • Yoga
  • Heat and Cold Therapy
  • Joint Protection
  • Relaxation and Coping Skills
  • Acupuncture

CALL AND BOOK AN APPOINTMENT TODAY TO SEE HOW YOU CAN TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR OA!

 

September 11, 2017