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Cold Season: Arthritis

For most people, the cold season marks the beginning of many joint pains. It is that time when you remember your way to an orthopedic clinic for pain medication or an injection. There are many explanations that go into explaining this phenomenon; from barometric pressure changes affecting the joint spaces to simply a drop in temperature affecting blood circulation, causing muscle spasms and heightening pain sensitivity. The fact is there an increase in joint pain when the weather is a little chilly. More often than not, the diagnosis of arthritis is very common to the affected population.

People of all ages can be diagnosed with arthritis; ranging from children , young adults to the geriatric (old) population. There many variations of arthritic conditions too depending on the criteria of presentation of symptoms. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. The clinician will explain, in the best way the know how, that osteoarthritis is when your joints are wearing out. The cartilage (covering of the bone) is thinning out and in response to that ,your weight bearing bones are rubbing onto each other and therefore triggering an inflammatory process . It is common in the hip and the knee joints. This process in the joint causes pain and this brings you into our office.

There are many causes of osteoarthritis, some are modifiable and others are not. For example , obesity is a risk factor to getting osteoarthritis, which is a modifiable factor; age ,however, is not all that easy to control , we just can't avoid it. Despite the many causes, when this diagnosis is given , the only thing that matters is how to mitigate the effects that come with it.

Arthritis just happens to be one of those conditions that "managing" is the first line of treatment. Currently, there is no known cure to the disease; meaning that we can't replace the worn out cartilage but we can intervene to prevent the disease from getting worse. Management often includes medication to counter the inflammatory process and physical therapy to help the reduce stress on the joint.

When all conservative (managing) measures yield little to no results, your clinician will have the best of intentions when they advise on surgery. This last resort usually means the quality of life you regain after the surgery has more benefits than the "management" course of treatment. Recovery from surgery should be smooth and with the help of a good rehab team, should have no complications.

If you are suffering from joint disease and need help, visit us at Machakos orthopedic clinic for the best care and solutions to your pain and discomfort.

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