Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and generally affects older people in the age groups of 60 and above. This type of joint condition includes pain, swelling and stiffness in major joints such as knees, hips, back, neck and hands. The usual symptoms indicate a general stiffness and decreased motion as well as swelling and creaking of joints. The second problem is a wearing out of the cartilage surface, which is the soft cushion between bones, of the joint, a major factor for knee and hip replacement surgeries.
Age and obesity are two major risk factors. There are mainly 2 types of osteoarthritis – primary and secondary. Both display common symptoms but the causes for both vary considerably. Primary osteoarthritis is generally detected amongst older people, age is a contributing factor, and is no t preventable. Where as secondary osteoarthritis is generally caused due to an injury, injuring the affected joint (baseball players, ballet dancers, and construction workers are all at risk), being over weight, hereditary factors, or genetics and is noticed more among people in the ages of 45-50.
Although a healthy life with proper diet, weight control and exercise is the best way to avoid joint problems, in advanced cases comfort without medication is not possible. The most common drugs recommended for Osteoarthritis include Acetaminophen (Tylenol/Anacin), Nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), COX-2 inhibitors, (Celebrex) or even Corticosteroid injections, or Hyaluronic acid injections.
Alternative therapies for this type of joint pain include acupuncture therapy, massage of joints as well as Magnetic Pulse therapy.