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an enemy of personal well-being and quality of life – La Pampa Noticias

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disorder characterized by pain, joint stiffness, and loss of function. It is the most frequent rheumatic pathology and generates high disability. It alters the quality of life and can interfere with the psychological well-being of people.

This disease progresses in phases, starting with alterations in the cartilage and surrounding tissues, with subsequent reaction of the bone tissue and, little by little, it generates a degenerative process.

osteoarthritis occurs in both men and women between the ages of 65 and 84. It most often affects the hands and knees in women and the hips in men. Likewise, it is generalized in the population over 85 years of age.

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After the age of 35, two out of ten people may present findings of osteoarthritis on X-rays, without symptoms and, above all, at the level of the spine. The cause may be primary, of unknown origin and not related to the weather or diet.

What factors predispose people to osteoarthritis?

  • Age and loss of ability to recover tissues.
  • Heredity or family predisposition.
  • The overweight. It tends to affect load-bearing joints like the hips and knees.
  • Overload or repetitive use in occupational or sports activities.
  • Fractures or previous surgeries on the joint.
  • Altered joint alignment.
  • Leg length difference.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

Pain is the main symptom and may be accompanied by stiffness. Both increase with rest and decrease with movement. With time and joint deterioration, difficulty appears to perform different activities.

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Depending on the involved joint, inflammation, muscle weakness, a feeling of instability, contractures, limitation of mobility and joint crepitus may appear.

Difference between a healthy knee and a knee with osteoarthritis. Photo: Adobe Stock

Diagnosis

Considering the symptoms and signs, physical examination is vital. The studies are complement with laboratory and radiography. It is necessary to take into account that there are no specific laboratory alterations of osteoarthritis that allow diagnosis and follow-up.

The radiology in the initial phases may be normal or joint space loss, bone alteration and marginal osteophytes may be observed.

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Treatment

Currently, there is no therapy that provides a definitive cure for osteoarthritis, but the symptoms can be mitigated, its evolution delayed and the quality of life of people with this disease optimized.

The main goals of treatment are:

  • Prevention, education and encourage adherence to treatment.
  • Promote changes in lifestyle, increasing physical activity and combating a sedentary lifestyle
  • Maintain the capacity and quality of movements.
  • Medications, intra-auricular treatment, cartilage protectors. It is vitally important to avoid self-medication.

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recommendations

  • Joint protection, balancing rest and physical activity.
  • Avoid being overweight
  • I use a cane, under professional prescription, if necessary, avoiding falls.
  • Use suitable footwear and continent
  • Avoid high-impact activity on the joints.
  • Appropriate and controlled recreational or sports activities.
  • In active patients, lower the level of joint impact, prioritizing safe activities, avoiding joint stress.

Lic. Gustavo Gheller is a Physiotherapist, Bachelor of Kinesiology and Physiatry, specialist in Critical Kinesiology, diploma in Occupational, Occupational and Labor Kinesiology [email protected]

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