Do you feel pain, stiffness, and creaking (crepitus) in your joints? If you think that you have reached the age and that it must be so simple, you are not completely right. The golden years can be painless – if you listen to your body, inform yourself and react in time, you can really help your body cope better with the challenges of aging.
Pay close attention to the above symptoms. If you are over 50 and recognize yourself in the description, you are more likely to have problems with osteoarthritis – a chronic degenerative disease caused by the deterioration of articular cartilage, which most commonly occurs on the joints of the hands, hips, knees, and spine.
Symptoms and Signs Associated With Joint Pain May Include:
- joint redness,
- swelling of the joints,
- joint tenderness,
- joint warmth,
- locking of the joint,
- loss of range of motion of the joint,
Other Causes of Joint Pain
- Bone Tumor (Rare)
- Cartilage Tear
- Synovial Sarcoma (Rare)
The success of treatment largely depends on early diagnosis because if the disease is ‘caught’ in time, the results of treatment are better. Since osteoarthritis cannot be completely cured, medicine has focused on relieving and eliminating the symptoms of this disease with the aim of slowing down further cartilage deterioration and the onset of deformities and disabilities.
Physical therapy and medications to relieve pain and inflammation are available to doctors and patients, and the good news is that you also have drugs on the market that have been scientifically proven to act on inflammation and pain in osteoarthritis of the knee, and studies show that they slow down the progression of the disease!
Other methods of treatment include the application of cold compresses, but only when there are symptoms of inflammation, such as warm and red skin above the joint or local application of heat in case of chronic pain and stiffness.
Osteoarthritis usually occurs in old age, so almost every other person over the age of 55 has one or more diseased joints. It is more common in women who usually have a more severe clinical picture than men. The cause of the disease is still unknown, and a complete cure is not possible.
The last and most undesirable method of treatment is surgery, especially when osteoarthritis affects the knee joint. If the pain in the knee becomes so severe that it cannot be alleviated with medication, when the pain disrupts sleep and prevents daily activities, then surgical removal of the diseased joint is performed and replaced with an endoprosthesis. Knee instability is one of the reasons for surgical treatment because an unstable knee in older adults may increase the risk of falling
It is extremely important to know that regular exercise such as walking, cycling, or swimming is a great way to maintain muscle tone and strengthen joints, and early diagnosis and proper treatment with all available means can significantly slow the worsening of the disease, relieve symptoms and improve joint mobility.
Osteoarthritis is one of the diseases that cause us to start ‘feeling our age’, but it is important to know that with early diagnosis and adequate therapy, those years can still be more golden and less painful.