An osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that affects the cartilage. There is wear and tear on the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones in a joint. It is known to be the most common form of arthritis affecting a lot of people worldwide.
Osteoarthritis commonly affects the joints in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. But it can still affect any joints in the body. The symptoms of osteoarthritis can be managed effectively. With treatment and combined with maintaining healthy weight and diet, the progression of the disease can be slowed down.
The signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis are often developed slowly and these include:
- The affected individual feels pain and may not be able to perform normal daily activities since the affected joints are painful to move.
- There is tenderness in the affected area and you may feel it when you apply light pressure to the affected joint.
- Stiffness in the affected joint is experienced especially after a period of inactivity or when you wake up in the morning.
- Flexibility is lost in the joints. An affected individual may not be able to achieve full range of motion on their joints.
- Bone spurs may occur on the affected joints. This will feel like hard lumps and forms around the affected joints.
The cause of osteoarthritis is when the cartilage, a firm slippery tissue that serves as a shock absorber and allows easy and smooth joint motion, slowly deteriorates causing the cartilage to become rough. Over time the cartilage wears down and this will leave the bones rubbing on one another.
There is no definite cause as to why this condition occurs, however, there are several risk factors that can contribute to its development.
- Age. As people age, the risk of developing osteoarthritis also increases
- Sex. Women are more highly at risk in developing this condition though the reason isn’t clear.
- Overweight. The risk increases in people who are overweight. This is due to the stress being added to the weight-bearing joints. Additionally, fat tissues produce proteins that can cause inflammation to your joints.
- High impact sports. Injuries to the joints that are caused when playing contact sports.
- Genes. If the condition runs in the family, there is a high chance you will develop one.
- Bone deformities can also increase a person’s risk.
If left untreated, osteoarthritis worsens over time.
If you think you are suffering from Osteoarthritis you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Osteoarthritis as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).