Osteoarthritis, one of the most common forms of arthritis, mostly affects elderly people. Women are most likely to suffer from this chronic condition of the joints.
Osteoarthritis occurs in 45 per cent of women 65 years or above.
It is mostly caused by age. There are also some other factors that cause the joint disease, such as obesity, genetics, lifestyle, certain occupations, earlier joint injury or other bone diseases.
Every joint or knee pain is not necessarily osteoarthritis. Any infection, injury, tumour or rheumatism can cause joint pain.
The pain increases gradually by months and years.
The condition fluctuates, sometimes improving, sometimes deteriorating.
Physical activity often triggers pain
Inflammation is not often visible
What to do
It is important to consult an expert. Accept that osteoarthritis is incurable. The pain can be reduced and mobility boosted by proper medical treatment, but medication alone cannot improve the condition.
Avoid stairs and don’t sit cross legged
Do some exercises that stretch the knee muscles
Take medications prescribed by physicians. Painkillers are needed in case of excessive pain. It is recommended to diagnose the condition of the patient’s heart, liver and kidney before prescribing painkillers or injections.
Heat or cold therapy may give temporary relief.
Surgery in the knee or knee replacement can be an option.
There are some popular therapies like, stem cell therapy, laser, PRP and many others available in various hospitals, though there is no evidence or authentic information whether these therapies heal osteoarthritis permanently.
*Rowsan Ara is associate professor of Green Life Medical College. This piece originally published in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat