Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time.
Although arthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.
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Arthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Pain. Your joint may hurt during or after movement.
- Tenderness. Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.
- Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
- Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
- Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint
Pictures of the affected joint can be obtained during imaging tests. Examples include: Xrays, CT scans and MRI.
Osteoarthritis symptoms, primarily pain, may be helped by certain medications, including:
- Paracetamol: has been shown to be effective for people with osteoarthritis who have mild to moderate pain. Taking more than the recommended dosage of panadol can cause liver damage.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Over-the-counter NSAIDs, including ibuprofen (Nurofen, others) and Celebrex, Mobic, Diclofenac ( Voltaren etc )taken at the recommended doses, typically relieve osteoarthritis pain. Stronger NSAIDs, available by prescription, may also slightly reduce inflammation along with relieving pain.NSAIDs can cause stomach upset, cardiovascular problems, bleeding problems, and liver and kidney damage. Topical NSAIDs (Voltaren Gel ) have fewer side effects and may relieve pain just as well.
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