Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is a major cause of pain and disability in older adults. Dr. Edward Hill talks about this condition in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease caused by deterioration of the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones. This breakdown in cartilage causes pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone.

Most affected are the hands, hips, feet or knees and occasionally the spine. The pain is usually worse with activity, but as the disease progresses pain may be present even during rest. This rest pain may interfere with sleep. You may also notice that you are stiff after long periods of inactivity, especially when you first get up in the morning or after sitting for a long time.

Your physician can recommend exercises and medications to help slow the disease and relieve the joint pain. Applying hot or cold compresses can also help. Severe cases may require surgery, including surgical replacement of the joint.

Donít suffer needlessly with osteoarthritis. Prevention, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can improve your life.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.