Osteoarthritis, also known as wear and tear arthritis, is a joint disorder caused by degeneration and ultimate loss of one or more of a joint’s articular cartilage, which is a protein substance that cushions joint bones. The condition is common among elderly people. This arthritis can affect knee joints, hip joints, spine, feet, or hands.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
There are two main types of osteoarthritis; primary and secondary arthritis. The primary type has no known cause and is usually associated with aging, which can cause the cartilage’s protein content to breakdown as its water content increases. Continual use of the joint over time causes inflammation of the cartilage leading to swelling and pain in the joint. Cartilage inflammation can also spur formation of new bones around the affected joint. The advanced stage of primary osteoarthritis is characterized by total loss of the cartilage, which exposes the bones of a joint to each other, causing friction. This friction causes immense pain that compromises normal mobility.
Surgery, repeated trauma of a joint, and obesity are possible causes of secondary osteoarthritis. Also, abnormally formed joints at birth, hormonal disorders, diabetes, and gout can also cause this type of arthritis. Obesity, for example, causes increased mechanical strain on knee joints, which leads to degeneration of its cartilage, and thus osteoarthritis occurs.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis disease only affects the joints and not any other body organ; therefore, joint pain is the most common symptom of the disease. This pain is experienced after repetitive or continual use of a joint. Creaking, swelling, and warmth are other symptoms of osteoarthritis. Inactivity can also cause stiffness and pain in the affected joint. In severe causes, mobility will be compromised due to joint pain. Someone with this form of osteoarthritis may need personal care services to assist in improving the condition of the joint and also manage the pain.
When osteoarthritis affects the knee joint, it may lead to outward curvature and deformity of the joint. This will lead to limping as the cartilage continues to degenerate. Minnesota home care will assist an individual with this condition to go through a treatment process that will prevent further breakdown of the joint’s cartilage and help in managing pain and movement.
Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis
X-ray examinations are done to diagnose the condition. X-rays can detect cartilage degeneration, formation of bone spurs, and decrease in the joint space of adjacent bones.
Treatment of Osteoarthritis
Home care services can assist individuals suffering from arthritis through the different treatment options that stop further cartilage loss. Pain management and physical management are both included in the treatment of the disease. Physical treatment measures include weight reduction, rest, mechanical support devices, exercise, occupational and physical therapies. Medications can also be used together with physical treatments. Medications can either be administered orally, topically, or directly injected into the joints. For some recipients, mild pain relievers can be used to manage the disease. NSAIDs, (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), are used to reduce inflammation and pain in different body joints.
The goal of PCA Services for people suffering from osteoarthritis is to help people maintain independence even though they have limited mobility. Personal Care Attendants can help with dressing, bathing, grooming and light housekeeping that may be difficult for individuals suffering from osteoarthritis. Personal Care Attendants can also help with shopping for groceries and with getting to and from medical appointments. Anyone suffering from osteoarthritis should contact a Minnesota Home Care Agency to learn more about these PCA Services.