Blog cover image (Oct 2021)

What is Osteoarthritis?

Welcome to Arthritis Awareness Month at NK Active! Throughout October, we’ll be sharing top tips, exercises, research and some myth-busting on Arthritis. 

Dr Charlotte Dando- podiatrist at NK Active

No better place to start that at the beginning and we asked NK Active Podiatrist and Clinic Academic, Dr Charlotte Dando (or Charlie for short) to tell us what Osteoarthritis (OA) is and if it can be cured? 

The basics. 

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of Arthritis and affects the joints by the deterioration of cartilage. This results in the bones rubbing together and for some people this can lead to pain and stiffness in the joint and others may also experience swelling in the joint. 

Common joints that are affected include the knees, hands, feet, and spine as well as the hip and shoulder joints. 

Who does Osteoarthritis affect?

Osteoarthritis is not always associated with age; there are lots of older people who never get OA and some young people who do. 

As with most conditions, anyone who falls into the categories listed are not predisposed to get Osteoarthritis but these are some common causes documented in clinical research:

  • people who are overweight – this puts excess strain on your joints, particularly the knees and hips
  • people who have reduced the amount of exercise they do or increased the amount without taking proper precautions – like overusing your joint when it has not had enough time to heal after an injury or operation or drastically increasing your exercise programme 
  • someone who may have a family member who has the condition already  – in some cases Osteoarthritis is hereditary 
  • someone who has had trauma to the joint 

What are Osteoarthritis symptoms? 

The majority of patients with symptomatic OA will report joint pain that worsens during activity and improves with rest. Other symptoms may include joint instability, stiffness in the joint that is present in the morning for less than 30 minutes or even joint stiffness following periods of inactivity. 

There are people who live pain free with OA. However, we don’t research people who live with OA who are symptom-free because they aren’t having issues, most research on Osteoarthritis is undertaken in healthcare settings, where people are accessing services due to symptoms.  

Can you cure Osteoarthritis?

We cannot cure Osteoarthritis but we can do things day-to-day that can help you move and feel good! It is well documented that physical activity can improve pain, function, and your perceived quality of life and during Arthritis Awareness Month in NK Active we will be sharing some top tips and exercises that will help you get active and manage your Osteoarthritis.

Building strong muscles around your joint(s) will help you protect and stabilise them. 

Living with OA means you will need to find a balance of being mobile and strong but also taking time to rest. That’s where NK Active can be useful in helping you develop a plan that is specific to you and your needs.

What’s next? 

Make sure you are following us on our social media or sign up to our monthly newsletter to get access to the videos, infographics and blogs on Arthritis throughout October. 

If you have any specific questions on Arthritis that you would like answered, then please contact us and let us know. #NKActive #moveforward

Leave a Comment