One of the most common pathologies in older adults is knee osteoarthritis: this is why it appears and we can treat it.
We explain what it is and why this pathology appears and what are the treatments that exist to improve it.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that affects the joints, especially affecting the knees, hands, hip or spine. Osteoarthritis can cause inflammation and is a degenerative disease that is closely related to the wear or aging of the joints.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage wears or deteriorates so that the bones that are part of a particular joint begin to rub and pain occurs. When the cartilage is disappearing, the bones continue to grow on the sides, and it is also the deformation of the joint that occurs.
What are the causes of osteoarthritis?
- Age: as we have said, elderly people are usually the most affected by osteoarthritis. It is not an exclusive factor since there is a type of osteoarthritis linked to young people (premature osteoarthritis) that may be caused by trauma or by sports overtraining.
- Sex: as we said, women have a higher prevalence in the case of certain types of osteoarthritis, such as knees or hands.
- Work activity and high physical activity: repetitive movements in some jobs or very hard training can facilitate the appearance of this pathology.
- Genetics: Arthrosis can be hereditary.
- Obesity: although it is not a risk factor at the time of the onset of osteoarthritis, it can aggravate the patient’s situation, especially if you suffer in knees or hips. Excess weight will further limit the movement of people suffering from osteoarthritis in these areas of the body.
- Trauma: bone fractures may favor its appearance.
Treatments for osteoarthritis:
When diagnosing osteoarthritis of the knee (or any other joint) different techniques are used: from the personal interview with our doctor to the radiography, magnetic resonance and high-resolution ultrasound.
Once osteoarthritis is diagnosed, it is treated in a multidisciplinary way, including physical exercises adapted to each patient and pharmacological treatment with analgesics, and anti-inflammatories if necessary.
Being a degenerative disease, the goal of arthrosis treatment will always be to improve pain and functional disability without causing side effects. In some cases, osteoarthritis may require surgical intervention.
It is not a serious illness, but it does affect the quality of life of the patient whose ability to move is impaired and can be sedentary. This is why early detection is very important in order to begin to follow a prevention treatment as soon as possible.