Osteoarthritis is the clinical name for a condition that affects approximately 27 million Americans. You may know it as degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints, occurring most often in the knees, hips, lower back, and neck.
At TruWell Health, osteoarthritis is the reason most of our patients walk through our door. They want Dr. Brown to help them get past the pain their degenerating joints are causing. And they want to get back to the things they like to do. The goal for our TruWell treatments is to relieve the chronic pain and decreasing mobility that osteoarthritis can cause.
What is osteoarthritis?
Colloquially known as “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis involves the breakdown of the cartilage in the joints. It can occur in most of the joints of the body, but is most common in the weight-bearing joints: the hips, knees, and spine. In other joints, osteoarthritis usually only occurs if there was a previous injury to the joint or a problem with the cartilage in the joint.
In healthy joints, cartilage is the firm, rubbery material that covers the ends of the bones. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber, reducing the impact and friction in the joints.
When a person has osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down, becomes stiff, and loses its elasticity. As it becomes less malleable, the cartilage is more prone to damage and wear. Now its shock absorbing benefits decrease, and the tendons and ligaments stretch, causing pain. As the deterioration progresses, patients can begin to have bone on bone contact in the joint.
Where are the most common joints for osteoarthritis?
The weight-bearing joints are the usual locations of osteoarthritis: the knees, hips, and spine. This is simply due to the daily stress of the joints handling typical movements such as walking, bending, running, or jumping. Over time, everyone’s joints deteriorate, the degree of deterioration and the accompanying pain and loss of mobility are the signs of osteoarthritis.
If you’re dealing with pain associated with osteoarthritis, please give us a call at TruWell Health, (727) 440-5410. We can help get you past the pain.