Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. While osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips. There is no known cure for osteoarthritis and its risk increases with age. Catherine Y. Taras, M.D., Summa Physicians Inc. – Family Medicine, discusses what you need to know about osteoarthritis.
What are the symptoms?
Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time.
- They include:
- Loss of flexibility
What are the most common treatments?
Over-the-counter (OTC) nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs are a good first step for pain relief. If the pain continues, your doctor might prescribe stronger medication or anti-inflammatory steroid injections. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
What can I do to avoid osteoarthritis?
Arthritis might be unavoidable. However, diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight and OTC medications (used as directed on the package) may help.
How can osteoarthritis affect my quality of life?
Osteoarthritis can prevent you from performing routine tasks and physical activities that you take for granted.
When should I see my family doctor?
It’s time to see your doctor when:
- The pain gets worse
- OTC medications don’t help
- You find it more difficult to perform normal activities
What is the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?
While osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on your joints, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, where your immune system attacks the joints. It could eventually lead to permanent damage of your joints.
Dr. Catherine Y. Taras sees patients at Summa Health Center at Lake Medina, 3780 Medina Road, Medina.
To make an appointment with a Dr. Taras call 888-892-9510 or fill out the online form.