It’s a degenerative disease of joints that involves cartilage, bone, and synovia. With wear and friction, cartilage that surrounds the bones at a joint thins, becomes rough, and causes pain, deformity, and instability. Unstable joints often buckle or lock in place, especially the knee. Tenderness, stiffness, and pain of the joint, not getting relief from over-the-counter medications, pain changes with weather, joint swelling, restricted movement, creaking and grating, and bony enlargement are common symptoms. Pain in the joint develops gradually, worsens with use and is relieved with rest. Pain and stiffness increase with damp weather and low air pressure because nerve fibres in the capsule of the knee are sensitive to changes in atmospheric pressure. An X-ray is used to diagnose osteoarthritis. It affects more women than men. Mild to moderate pain can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Other treatments may include surgical and non-surgical therapies, such as orthotics, well-cushioned shoes, and physiotherapy. A family doctor would make the diagnosis and may refer the client to a podiatrist or chiropodist.
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