Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that is caused by the protective cartilage in the joints wearing down over time. It is one of the most common forms of arthritis that affects millions of people around the world. The condition is most commonly found in joints in the neck, hands, lower back, hips, and knees. There is no cure for the condition and it worsens over time, however, there are plenty of things people can do to limit the damage it does on your joints.
It’s not just found in senior citizens
Cartilage is something that provides cushion over the ends of your bones and it deteriorates from osteoarthritis, causing severe pain in the joints. The risk of osteoarthritis definitely increases with age, but it worsens with other activities that stress the joints of the body.
I’ve played a lot of sports in my time and eventually the wear and tear on my joints revealed a condition known as osteochondritis dissecans in my knee when I was just seventeen years of age: this condition occurs when a piece of cartilage, as well as a thin layer of bone beneath comes loose and detaches from the knee.
When the piece of cartilage in my knee detached, it was large enough to get caught in between the moving parts of my joint, limiting my movement and causing pain.
Surgery was eventually elected for my condition and the floating chunks of cartilage were removed. I went to physical therapy shortly thereafter the arthroscopic procedure and was frankly warned that signs of arthritis in my knee would show when I get older. What a profound statement by the physical therapist, but sure enough, the early stages of osteoarthritis in my knee has become very evident.
For me, the pain in the knee joint is most severe after activity. Now I enjoy getting out and going on runs, but I would be a cheat if I told you that I can do so regularly without having to properly manage the pain through various forms of precautions.
The best thing to do when my joint just isn’t having it is to rest it for a day or two; for those who love exercise and the natural highs that come from such activity, you know the pain of staying immobile. Biking and swimming are good exercises that don’t put a lot of trauma on the joints and do a lot of good in strengthening the muscles around the joints.