Thursday, July 26, 2012
Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease in which the joints cartilage is worn down progressively, causing inflammation and pain. It usually affects older people (over 50 years of age), with the knees and hips being the most common area affected by the disease. As a result of this gradual wearing away of the cartilage, the bone develops spurs. Osteoarthritis is usually caused by mechanical stress, such as misalignments of bones due to congenital causes; excessive weight and weak muscles can also cause osteoarthritis. The joint cartilage functions as cushion or bumpers, preventing that the large bone heads collide into one another. Treatment: corticosteroids, which act against inflammation and relieves pain, and analgesics, such as aspirin; surgery in severe cases.