In this post, we are going to take a look at two common forms of osteoarthritis: hands and hips.
Osteoarthritis is the most common musculoskeletal disorder on a global scale in terms of conditions that affect the hands. The likelihood of suffering from this condition increases with age, and unfortunately, there is no cure for hand osteoarthritis, as this is a degenerative condition, which basically means that it is a result of general wear and tear.
It can be an extremely painful condition because the articular cartilage wears away – this leaves the bones exposed, and they rub against one and other, which can cause excruciating pain. This is why you need to manage the condition so that you don’t suffer and so that hand function and movement are not impaired, while physiotherapy is also vital to reduce the chances of the condition getting even worse.
There are many different signs and hand osteoarthritis symptoms, including stiffness – especially in the mornings, swelling, pain, muscle weakness, difficulty with carrying out daily tests, such as twisting doorknobs or gripping onto items. The later stages of osteoarthritis become evident because you will start to notice changes in the appearance of your hand, including the presence of Bouchard nodes or Heberden nodes, as well as bony enlargements and fusiform swelling of the joints.
The importance of using a qualified and experienced physiotherapist cannot be stressed enough when it comes to treating osteoarthritis, as this is a condition that is notoriously difficult to diagnose because of the number of joints involved, the possible subsets of criteria and the broad spectrum of severity. They can also give you compounded medications for pain to help.
Hip osteoarthritis is the health term for arthritis in the hip, which is a joint disease that usually impacts the hip joint cartilage and can be very painful. The articular cartilage covers the sections of the bones that move against each other in your hip joint, it does this to ensure that movement is painless and smooth while also absorbing any shock forces that have not been dispersed by the muscles in your hip.
When arthritis occurs, your bones essentially rub against one and other because the top layer of the articular cartilage breaks down and wears away. So, if you suffer from arthritis in your hip it can be very painful and it can make it difficult for you to move as freely as you should. Other symptoms include hip joint deformity, hip joint swelling, weak hip muscles that make it difficult to sit, stiffness and tenderness.
There are many different causes of hip osteoarthritis, with most people experiencing this condition because of wear and tear as they get older, yet there are some factors that can increase your likelihood of suffering from this problem, including a genetic defect in your joint cartilage, malformed joints, poor biomechanics, stresses on the joints from playing sports or certain jobs, muscle weakness, previous joint injury and being overweight.
If you think you could have hip osteoarthritis, the best thing to do is get in touch with a physio to book an appointment. They will carry out a thorough examination to get to the root of the problem, which may include a hip X-ray and other diagnostic tests. This stage of the treatment is exceptionally important as it ensures they effectively diagnose the condition so they can provide the most effective and efficient course of treatment.