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:
- 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.
- Family History – A genetic component does exist. However, just because a family member has OA does not guarantee that you will also experience it.
- Excess Weight – Excess weight puts additional stress on the joints, further accelerating joint breakdown.
- 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.
- 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:
- Massage Therapy
- Healthy Eating and Weight Control
- Heat and Cold Therapy
- Joint Protection
- Relaxation and Coping Skills
CALL AND BOOK AN APPOINTMENT TODAY TO SEE HOW YOU CAN TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR OA!