Introduction to Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease, which is characterized by an alteration in the structure and function of a joint. It occurs due to changes in articular cartilage, underlying bone, and soft tissues. Early treatment of osteoarthritis involves staying active without causing overuse of any joint. Losing weight can also help considerably by minimizing the stress on joints. In the later stages of osteoarthritis, all the joint structures are affected. Therefore, stronger pain medicines may be required. In severe cases, surgery for joint replacement is required.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis; however, certain ways can help you to manage it. Many patients with osteoarthritis are able to ease their symptoms with the help of weight control, regular exercise, and medicines. In severe cases, joint replacement surgery also helps to relieve pain and improve joint function.
Life Expectancy of Osteoarthritis Patients
Osteoarthritis is becoming the major cause of physical disability in elderly people throughout the world. However, it does not decrease the life expectancy considerably, but it impairs quality of life. Therefore it cuts down the healthy years of life.
Many people think that osteoarthritis worsens slowly and patients with osteoarthritis are not able to do even their routine activities. However, recent studies believe that the condition of not all patients with osteoarthritis worsens with time. In the majority of people, the disease stabilizes after some time. Right diagnosis and treatment can minimize the disability and help the person to live a healthy and active life.
Self-care can greatly help people with osteoarthritis. It is crucial even for the general well-being of a person. It involves staying fit, eating healthy, maintaining good mental health, preventing disease and accidents. For osteoarthritis patient, it involves taking simple self-care measures such as eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, following the dosing regimen recommended by the doctor and doing joint friendly exercise.
Good diet and routine exercise help to improve the symptoms of this condition. Regular exercise helps to improve muscle strength, joint flexibility, and posture. Also, it is important to follow the dosing regimen recommended by your doctor even on days when you are feeling well.