Managing Arthrosis: Understanding Symptoms

Arthrosis, also known as osteoarthritis, is a common degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people around the world. It is the most prevalent form of arthritis and is characterized by the gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. In this article, we will explore the symptoms and treatments of arthrosis.

Symptoms of Arthrosis:

Arthrosis typically affects weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, spine, and hands, although it can occur in other joints as well. The hallmark symptoms of arthrosis include:

Pain: Pain in the affected joint is usually the first symptom of arthrosis. The pain is often described as a deep ache that worsens with movement and is relieved with rest. It may be more severe after prolonged activity or towards the end of the day.

Stiffness: Stiffness in the affected joint is another common symptom of arthrosis. The joint may feel stiff and difficult to move, especially after periods of inactivity, such as in the morning after waking up or after sitting for a long time.

Reduced Range of Motion: Arthrosis can also result in a reduced range of motion in the affected joint. It may become difficult to fully bend, straighten, or rotate the joint, leading to a decrease in mobility.

Swelling and Tenderness: In some cases, arthrosis can cause swelling and tenderness around the affected joint. The joint may feel warm to the touch and may be tender when pressed.

Joint Deformities: Over time, arthrosis can lead to joint deformities, such as bone spurs or the formation of hard nodules around the joint. These deformities can further contribute to pain and reduced mobility.

Treatments for Arthrosis:

While there is no cure for arthrosis, there are several treatment options available to manage its symptoms and improve the quality of life for affected individuals. The treatment plan for arthrosis may vary depending on the severity of the disease and the joint(s) affected. Some common treatments include:

Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in arthrosis. Topical creams or ointments containing NSAIDs can also be applied directly to the affected joint for localized relief.

Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles around the affected joint, improve joint stability, and increase range of motion. It may include exercises, stretches, and other therapeutic techniques tailored to the individual’s needs.

Lifestyle Modifications: Lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, regular exercise, and avoiding activities that worsen joint pain can help to manage arthrosis symptoms. Using assistive devices such as canes or braces can also help to reduce joint stress and improve mobility.

Joint Injections: Corticosteroid injections can be administered directly into the affected joint to reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief. Hyaluronic acid injections, which act as lubricants for the joint, can also be used to relieve symptoms in some cases.

Alternative Therapies: Some individuals find relief from arthrosis symptoms through alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, or supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin. However, the evidence for the effectiveness of these treatments is limited, and they should be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Surgical Interventions: In severe cases where conservative treatments are not effective, surgical interventions may be considered. Joint replacement surgery, such as knee or hip replacement, may be recommended to relieve pain and improve joint function.