A Guide to Understanding Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative disk disease) is the most common form of all chronic joint syndromes, affecting some 240 million people across the globe. About 10 percent of men and eighteen percent of women above the age of 60 struggle with symptoms of OA.
Here at Longevity in OKC, Dr. Darryl D. Robinson and his team of experts have treated countless cases of Osteoarthritis. This firsthand experience with the condition has made us intimately familiar with how it works, as well as how it can be treated. As your go-to source for insights and clarity on chronic pain syndromes, our top priority is to keep you informed about the symptoms, causes, and risks of dangerous conditions like OA.
In order to stay healthy, mobile, and pain-free, it is crucial to understand the warning signs, risks, and remedies for Osteoarthritis.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Our joints are lined with a protective layer of cartilage, which prevents our bones from grinding against one another as we move. In cases of OA, however, this cartilage is gradually worn away. This can cause a great deal of pain and stiffness over time.
Although OA primarily affects older adults, it can manifest at just about any age. Common causes include heredity, obesity, torn cartilage, ligament injuries, or dislocated joints.
What Are the Symptoms?
Osteoarthritis can strike any joint in the body, though the most commonly impacted areas are the hands, fingers, knees, hips, neck, and lower spine.
The most common signs and symptoms of Osteoarthritis are:
Stiffness in the joints
Impaired range of motion
Inflammation and/or swelling
Tenderness when the area is touched or bumped
Pain that worsens during or after physical activity
What Are the Long-Term Risks?
If not treated properly, your symptoms will become more severe over time. This discomfort may lead to difficulty completing simple tasks, such as buttoning a shirt or tying your shoes.
You may begin to develop mild deformities that take a toll on your mobility, as well as your ability to get comfortable. As your joints become unstable, you may experience them locking or buckling occasionally. Severe cartilage in the hips or knees may cause limping or a bow-legged posture. The formation of bone spurs is also common in severe cases of OA.
How Can I Treat My OA?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition, meaning there is no permanent cure. However, it is important to begin treating your symptoms early in order to avoid long-term complications.
There are several options available for the temporary treatment of Osteoarthritis symptoms:
Exercise: Roughly 30 minutes of light physical activity like walking or swimming has the potential to significantly reduce inflammation and stiffness.
Weight loss: Losing a few extra pounds reduces the amount of pressure your joints have to endure each day.
Medication: NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as Ibuprofen is an effective way to reduce symptoms for a few hours. You may ask your doctor about Cymbalta, an antidepressant that is sometimes prescribed to treat OA pain.
Physical Therapy: A trained physical therapist may help you manage your symptoms over a longer period of time by teaching you exercises designed to boost flexibility and combat pain.
About Our Treatments
Dr. Darryl D. Robinson, our founder and lead physician, has been treating pain-related conditions in the OKC metro area for nearly 20 years, earning him recognition as one of the region’s top therapists. This quality of care has been made possible by Dr. Robinson’s specialties in Pain Management Medicine. Our techniques utilize the body’s natural healing power by jumpstarting the immune system to provide natural, long-lasting pain relief.