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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and loss of mobility or joint function. It can greatly diminish the quality of life of sufferers, particularly when it affects small joints, such as those in the hand.

Osteoarthritis is the most common rheumatic disease and is second only to cardiovascular disease in producing chronic disability.

Osteoarthritis is not a passive 'wear and tear' phenomenon, as was believed until recently. It is an active disease with a complex underlying pathology.

Three stages of Osteoarthritis

A slight stiffness after lying down or sitting down for a while is often the first indication of osteoarthritis, but this stiffness vanishes soon after the joints are being used and one gets moving again.

As osteoarthritis progresses, these joint movements will become increasingly and continually painful. There may be a gritty sensation in the joint; the function of the joint is impaired and one can experience a reduced range of movement.

The last stage of joint degeneration is when the joints are painful even when resting which may adversely affect sleep at night. At each of the stages of osteoarthritis there may also be inflammation and swellings present in the joint.

Some other factors may accelerate the natural wear and tear of the joints:

  • being overweight
  • inflammation
  • incorrect joint alignment
  • sporting activities with a higher rate of injury
  • working conditions requiring lifting and carrying of heavy loads
  • inactivity due to joint resting or life style choices

Which joints can be affected?

Basically all synovial joints of the body can become arthritic. Particularly frequent and painful are arthritic problems in the larger joints such as:

  • Knee joint
  • Hip joint
  • Shoulder joint
  • Foot/Ankle joints

Arthritis can also affect smaller joints and impinge upon the quality of life:

  • Saddle joint (thumb joint)
  • All other finger joints
  • Toe joints (particularly the large toe)
  • Facet joints of the spine
  • Other places of potential problems:
  • Elbow joint
  • Ankle joints

In order to understand how these problems develop it is helpful to familiarise yourself with the Joint Structure.

Osteoarthritis develops as people get older and is present in almost everybody over the age of 60 (although not everyone in this age group has bad symptoms). Osteoarthritis of the knee or hip may also occur in younger people, usually (but not always) because these joints have been overloaded. Possible causes of overloading include sports, jobs involving a lot of lifting and carrying, too much bodyweight and abnormal joint development.

Our Podiatrist will discuss your condition and how it affects your mobility, as we have a number of treatments suitable to treat osteoarthritis depending upon your lifestyle, we aim to offer the most cost effective private podiatry treatments, we also offer some of the most advanced treatments such as low level laser therapy, toenail reconstruction and ostenil plus injections. if you would like to discuss your condition and what treatments we have available to help, you can text your podiatrist, direct on: 07985 687 770, due to high demand for this service our podiatrist will return your call within 48hours. and your text within 24hours.