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Senior Hikers Couple During The Walk Round The Tarn In Beautiful Mountains Hills
Senior Hikers Couple During The Walk Round The Tarn In Beautiful Mountain Hills

Joint Pain And Osteoarthritis

‘Arthritis’ is a general term for joint pain. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis.15

Osteoarthritis: a degenerative joint disease

Osteoarthritis is caused by progressive degeneration (breakdown) of the soft tissue, called cartilage, between the bones within joints.15 Cartilage provides a cushion or ‘shock absorber’ between the bones, but can start to become rough, brittle or thin with age and joint use over time. These cartilage changes can be accompanied by thickening of the underlying bone, development of bony growths in the joint, and thickening of the joint membranes, which cause the joint space to narrow. Cartilage may also break away from the bone, leaving the ends exposed and rubbing against one another, and the ligaments can become damaged or weakened.15 The result is joint stiffness, pain, and inflammation.15

Osteoarthritis symptoms can:15,16

  • Affect multiple joints, including the hands, knees, hips and spine
  • Worsen over time
  • Cause joint pain and stiffness, which may be worse after resting or not moving the joint for a while
  • Limit joint movement and flexibility, because affected joints cannot bend as easily or with their full range of motion
  • Cause chronic pain and severe disability in extreme cases, and may affect normal daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or opening jars.

Osteoarthritis risk factors

Osteoarthritis can occur at any age, but more frequently in older individuals. Women are also at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis compared with men. People usually develop osteoarthritis from their late 40s through to old age. Injury to a joint may also trigger osteoarthritis, sometimes many years after the injury.15

There are several ways to help relieve osteoarthritis pain and keep you mobile:
Injuries to a joint may increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the future (for example, tennis elbow). Be careful not to overwork a damaged or painful joint, and try to avoid repetitive or excessive joint movements

  • If you are overweight, losing weight can help reduce the strain on your weight-bearing joints, such as the knees and hips15,17
  • Regular exercise and/or physical therapy that includes strengthening exercises can help reduce pain and stress on the joints15,17
  • The use of walking aids such as a cane, crutch, or walker, or using joint supports, can help reduce strain on the joints17
  • Heat therapy, acupuncture or TENS* treatment can help with pain control17
  • Treatment options for osteoarthritis include over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-inflammatory (NSAID) + creams, glucosamine and/or chondroitin, or injections.17 If you have osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor about treatment options. You could also consider speaking to another healthcare professional, such as a pharmacist, physiotherapist, or nutritionist.

Related Articles

Types Of Back Pain

There are many causes of back pain, including repeated heavy lifting, spending prolonged periods of time at a desk with poor posture or inadequate back support, or more serious conditions like a ruptured disc.18

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Common Causes Of Arm Pain

The most common causes of arm pain are often nothing more than a simple sprain or strain or a trapped nerve.

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Causes Of Neck Pain

Most people will experience neck pain at some point in their life. Whether mild or severe, neck pain can stop you participating in everyday activities.

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Causes Of Knee Pain

With many of us living active lives, it’s no surprise that we put our knees through a lot.

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