Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most
common type of arthritis worldwide and affects men and women at a
The chance of getting OA increases with: age (beginning in your 30's and
40's), being overweight or having had an injury to a joint in the past.
Although any joint can be affected, it is mainly a disease of the knees,
spine and hands. The cushion between the joints, or cartilage, breaks
down. Over time the bones rub together causing further damage and pain.
Inflammation can also accumulate in a joint causing more pain and
OA cannot be cured, but if detected early, the chance of having less
severe arthritis later on is greater. Weight management and regular
strengthening exercises are the two most important strategies to focus
on. Other treatments include anti-inflammatory medications/creams or
medication injected directly into the joint. Steroid injections can
reduce inflammation and pain and other injections containing hyaluronic
acid can help rebuild cartilage providing pain relief for three to six
months. Your rheumatologist can help you determine the most effective
treatment, discuss some potential prevention strategies and monitor your
progress over time.
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