Osteoarthritis is the ‘wear and tear’ arthritis that affects people as they age. Here in Australia, it is the most common type of arthritis, affecting 1 in 11 of us, and is the predominant condition that leads to knee and hip replacement surgeries .
Your joints enclose your bone ends that are covered by cartilage. This cartilage helps your joints absorb shock, acting as a rubbery cushion, as well as creating a slippery surface for bones to move smoothly and efficiently past one another. As our cartilage wears down from use and impact over time, our bones can start to rub against one another, causing pain and restricting movement available at the joint.
Osteoarthritis can develop in any joint and often affects the knees, hips, spine, hands and feet. In the lower limbs, the knees, ankle, big toe and midfoot joints are often affected.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis tend to progress gradually and affect women (60%) at a higher rate than men (40%). It’s important to remember that if you’re experiencing severe inflammation and ‘flares’ in your joints, these may be symptoms of inflammatory arthritides such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis may include:
The term ‘wear and tear’ that is often associated with osteoarthritis refers to the loads that we put on the joints during our lifetime that cause them to wear down. Interestingly, the disease mechanism is now thought to be related to the joint working extra hard to repair itself . Aside from this, other contributing factors can include:
While the degenerative changes aren’t reversible, they can be managed to reduce the symptoms and improve your comfort and mobility. Here at The Podiatrist, we can help you with this by:
Two weeks with Calcaneal Spur and finally got to see Doc. He sent me to Kevin @ Eleven and with One Appointment, he had me walking without Crutches. Yes! It still hurt. Did the Stretching, Rolling my Foot on a Spikey ball and Iced it occasionally. Return visit, after he had his Holiday, and I' am walking fine. They do NOT want to see me again, unless it deteriorates. Which it has not :-)