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1. What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a very common condition of pain and swelling in the joints. It occurs due to the breakdown of the cartilage present at the end of the bones, which provides protection and a cushioning effect. The condition worsens with age. The knees are commonly affected by osteoarthritis, but other joints are also involved.
2. What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis can affect the hips, knees, spine, fingers and toes. The symptoms seen in the joints are: swelling, pain, difficulty in moving, and stiffness after resting.
3. What causes osteoarthritis?
The following factors can cause osteoarthritis: heredity - presence of defective genes that make the cartilage. Overweight - excess body weight exerts more pressure on the hips and knees. Injury and overuse - repeated injuries or excess movements of some joints increase the wear and tear. Presence of some other conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Are there any home remedies to treat osteoarthritis?
Following home remedies can give relief in osteoarthritis: yoga and meditation; weight control; hot showers, heating pads or hot water bags; cold packs on the swelling; use of turmeric; adding omega-3 Fatty acids to the diet; and light massage of the joints.
5. What are the treatment measures for osteoarthritis?
The treatment measures for osteoarthritis are as follows: medications such as painkillers and pain relieving creams, gels and sprays; use of supportive devices like canes, crutches, braces and walker; physical therapy, swimming, walking in water; alternative therapies such as ayurvedic oils or homeopathy; nutritional supplements; and surgery to replace the joint.