Those who regularly play active sports know that their athletic activities put them at risk of physical pain. They believe the pain they get can be relieved through resting, and drinking lots of water and a tablet of pain reliever, so they just shrug it off. But getting their joints injured puts them at the risk of experiencing osteoarthritis, which causes chronic pain that cannot be relieved just by rest and pain relievers. So what exactly is this disease?
You might already be familiar with what arthritis is– a term covering all diseases concerning joint inflammation. Well, osteoarthritis is its most common form it takes. What this disease destroys are the cartilages in people’s joints. Because cartilages are the parts of your joints that absorb shock from physical pressure, as they slowly wear out due to your age or when they get damaged, you feel pain more easily.
Most people get affected by the disease the moment they hit 60 but this doesn’t mean younger adults cannot get it. People who get their joints injured from extreme and straining physical activities or from accidents may get the disease. The physical activities mentioned are not just limited to sports. They also include activities required of certain occupations, like constant heavy lifting for construction jobs. Lack of engagement in physical activities can also cause the disease for those who are obese.
There are also those who unfortunately have joint deformities, thus increasing their chances of developing the disease. Those who have Paget’s disease of bone, gout, or septic arthritis are also at risk. Typically, though, the older you get the likelier you’ll get it, more so if you are a woman. So how do you know if you have the disease?
The joints it usually affects are those of the fingers, spine, hip and knees. If any of these is/are affected, the pain it/they experience is chronic and becomes worse into the night. The bones of affected fingers usually become larger and when painful, they swell. The hips and the knees bear the weight of people’s bodies so when strained due to repetitive bending, kneeling or squatting; they are put at risk of the disease. As the spine supports the torso, if it gets the disease, other parts of the body, like the legs and arms, might weaken.
If based on the said symptoms, you think you have the disease and have tried killing the pain with pain relievers to no avail, you should consult already doctor. It’s also common for people to confuse osteoarthritis with other forms of arthritis so ask a doctor to clarify what you’re experiencing. Also, sometimes, the swelling that comes with the disease is also mistaken as gout.
If the pain you feel in a particular joint has disabled you from undertaking any physical activity that involves it, head to a hospital near you. Also, if you get injuries from your athletic activities, get the injured part of your body checked to know if it’s affected with the disease.
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