COMPLICATIONS OF OSTEOARTHRITIS

Osteoarthritis is characterised by joint pain and loss of function. It is the most usual form of arthritis across the globe, around 3.3% to 3.6%.

Osteoarthritis is of two types-

1. Primary Osteoarthritis - This type is related to the risk factors like age, gender, hereditary factors, obesity, poor muscle and joint health, sport or occupational injuries.

2. Secondary Osteoarthritis - This occurs as a consequence of any existing joint abnormality like haemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, osteopetrosis, inflammatory arthritis and congenital joint disorders. 

Some of the common symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness in joints, loss of mobility, poor flexibility and bone spurs. 

Elderly people are at more risk of developing osteoarthritis. It is more prevalent among women than men. Overweight people who are involved in intense activities exerting a lot of pressure on their joints are also susceptible to develop osteoarthritis. 

Osteoarthritis at times becomes very difficult to manage. Some degree of inflammation, bone erosion, deposition of calcium crystals, damaged collagen and joint destruction are also observed among osteoarthritic patients. 

Pain during osteoarthritis can be taxing and might lead to another set of complications.

1. Weight Gain - Stiffness, pain in joints and muscle weakness reduces the mobility of the person during osteoarthritis. It may also suppress the desire to stay physically active in order to avoid pain. This lack of an active lifestyle can slow down the metabolic rate and increase the likelihood of weight gain, diabetes and hypertension. Studies indicate that yoga is an excellent way to stay active, improve joint flexibility and overall body posture for people with osteoarthritis.

2. Altered Sleep Cycle - Continuous pain and ache might cause sleepless nights, disturbing the entire sleep cycle. It can also lead to insomnia and hormonal disturbances.

3. Stress and Depression - This is another complication of osteoarthritis which is associated with mental health. Reduced motion, reduced productivity, obesity and limited ability to perform daily activities may cause depression to set in. It can increase stress and anxiety levels among patients. Hence, osteoarthritis can affect both physically and mentally.

4. Gout - People with osteoarthritis are at high risk of developing gout. Hence, it is recommended to regularly monitor their uric acid levels to prevent the condition from getting worse.

5. Other Complications - Some of the other complications which can surface due to osteoarthritis are stress fractures, complete breakdown of cartilage, tendon and ligament deterioration, bleeding and infection in the joint and osteoarthritis of the spine also known as a pinched nerve.

To sum up, osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the joints and falls under the category of the degenerative disorder. This condition is not curable but it can be managed by medications, dietary and lifestyle changes. Light exercise, weight reduction and yoga may aid in pain management and improve range of motion. It is important to talk to people or medical experts as they can be a great support in improving mental well-being.  

REFERENCES

  • Heidari B. (2011). Knee osteoarthritis prevalence, risk factors, pathogenesis and features: Part I. Caspian journal of internal medicine2(2), 205–212.

 

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