This form of arthritis is very common and the prevalence is higher in woman and the risk rises with an increase in age. It results from a progressive degeneration of protective cartilage. Cartilage is a tissue that cushions the end of the bones that come together to form a joint, which allows for shock & pressure absorption and reduces friction when stress is applied to it.
Signs & Symptoms include:
- Usually affects hand, hips, knees and feet
- Aching pain upon or after movement
- Tenderness with application of pressure
- Clicking noise or grating sensation during movement
- Joint stiffness upon movement after a period of inactivity
- Decrease in range of motion of the affected joint
- Bone spurs
The degenerative process cannot be reversed however symptoms can be effectively managed with the goal of treatment being to reduce pain and increase function.
- Exercise with routine stretching and strengthening including achieving a healthy body weight.
- RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
- Heat and cold therapy
- Pain medication such as oral analgesics or Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s). Topical creams or gels such as Voltaren gel.
- General Podiatric care: taking care of the calluses and hard skin build up that occurs as a result of abnormal pressure or stresses that occur during walking.
- Use of ambulatory devices that can assist with mobility such as gripping tools or walking stick.
- Appropriate footwear
- Shoe inserts such as Innersoles or custom made orthotic devices
- Use of protective gear and devices
- Padding and strapping