Arthritis More Than Just Stiff Joints

Osteoarthritis and Osteonecrosis is much more than just joint pain and although  they are different they actually seem to be a like in many ways.

Through all my struggles with pain in many forms I have learned so much I once again about myself and that is I can survive anything and I will use my voice and for a  purpose.

People just don’t understand the severity that arthritis can have on someone’s life, its not just a sore or stiff joint. Its pain lots of pain some days you want to stay in bed with a heat wrap pain and that’s ok. But it won’t really help your pain. Especially OA pain, the heat wrap may help but you need to keep them joints moving.

 

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My diagnosis put a stop in my career as an optometric tech – apprentice optician-placing me on the disabled list.

It really blows so I am again re – inventing myself and going back to school and learning  Real Estate. I can have better hours and feel productive again Lord willing.

Did you know according to the CDC the #1 cause of long term disability in North America is Arthritis. There are an estimated 350 million people worldwide live a form of the umbrella term arthritis.

​My passionate for creating awareness about arthritis-osteonecrosis and many disease of the bone  and patient advocacy started in late 2014 when I started a support group and later created this blog.

Stay tuned more of me to come

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease causing joints to wear down

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease also commonly referred to as arthrosis, osteoarthrosis or OA.

This condition is caused by the protective fluid in the joint losing its shock absorbing abilities resulting in the bones rubbing against each other and the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones wearing down.

When you have it we often experience pain, swelling and problems with mobility. There are stages in Osteoarthritis

  • Stage 1: (Doubtful) Minimum disruption but sufferers experience a 10% loss of cartilage.
  • Stage 2 (Mild): Narrowing of the joint space with the cartilage beginning to breakdown and the occurrence of osteophytes (a bony projection associated with the degeneration of cartilage at joints).
  • Stage 3 (Moderate): Moderate joint-space reduction where the gaps in the cartilage can expand until they reach the bone.
  • Stage 4 (Severe): The joint-space is greatly reduced with around 60% loss of cartilage and large osteophytes.

Any joint in the body can be affected by OA but the most common damage is found in the knees, hips, lower back, neck, fingers and toes.

 

Types of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the USA and abroad. Other types of arthritis that cause pain and inflammation in the joints include:

To find out how the different types of arthritis can affect your joints, take a look at this link for various Types of Arthritis  page.

The main symptoms of OA are:

Pain

Pain occurs when you move the affected joint or at the end of the day. Those with severe osteoarthritis may feel pain more often.

Stiffness

Stiffness occurs when you have rested or remained still for a prolonged period of time, but usually wears away as you move.

Grinding

A grating sensation, also known as crepitus, occurs when you move the affected joint.

Swelling

Swelling can come in two forms – hard and soft. Hard swelling is caused by osteophytes, which are bony lumps that grow on and around the joints of the knee, while soft swelling is caused by the synovial fluid in a joint thickening. Both forms can make muscles look thin or wasted.

Lack of Movement

Due to one or more of the above symptoms, you may have trouble moving your joints as freely as you once did. Sometimes your mobility might be affected due to muscles wasting or your joint not being as stable as it was before.

If symptoms are persistent, you should book an appointment with your GP so they can carry out an examination and determine the best course of treatment. Click here to read about how OA is diagnosed.

 

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