Just like the rest of the body, the joints degenerate over time because of constant wear and tear. They age, weaken, and become susceptible to damage. Osteoarthritis is the appropriate term for bone degeneration. It is a common condition among the elderly which only aggravates their situation especially if they’re already dealing with other illnesses brought about by old age. In order for the joints to move smoothly, a cushion-like material made of cartilage reduces friction, that’s why you don’t feel any pain even after using a typewriter for more than an hour back when you were younger. This cartilage wears out over time resulting in friction and pain during movement of the joints.
Osteoarthritis may be hereditary or it develops as a person ages. Hereditary or age-related osteoarthritis is called primary arthritis. Other triggering factors for the condition include obesity, injuries and trauma, infection, hormonal shifts and imbalances, pregnancy, and allergies. Secondary osteoarthritis is the correct medical term for the joint inflammation condition that’s caused by these predisposing factors.
Osteoarthritis manifests swelling of the cartilage, the development of nodes in the joints of the fingers. A gnarled appearance of the fingers is also apparent and quite common in the elderly. On the other hand, the nodes may not cause pain but they limit the flexibility of your fingers.
Osteoarthritis has no known cure. It’s not something you get out of exposure to germs and treat it with antibiotics and then you can go back to work the following day. But the good thing is that you can manage the pain and you have every chance of improving the quality of your life even with osteoarthritis just as long as you don’t exert too much effort on your daily activities. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS are given to combat the swelling and pain relievers too. They also come in the form of topical creams and gels that help to relieve the stiffness and pain of the joints.