Living with osteoarthritis – a disease that in many instances limits a patient’s ability to lead a normal life

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Arthrosis, also known as osteoarthritis, is an extremely painful degenerative disease that affects the joints and incapacitates those who suffer from it.

In the face of this disease, major advances that are being promoted by governments and institutions of different countries are being made in research, diagnosis and treatment of symptoms. That said, approach to the disease has changed considerably in the recent past.

According to some experts, the concept of osteoarthritis as a disease has seen a transformation from being a disease that affected only the cartilaginous tissue to be considered a chronic disease of the whole joint (ankle, wrist, etc.).

A disease that is very present in the world around us

According to WHO data, osteoarthritis is among the 10 diseases with the highest number of disparities generated around the world. If we turn our attention to specific areas of the world, we can find some statistics, according to which 27 million Americans could be suffering from osteoarthritis.

Considering the increase in life expectancy for the coming years, it is only to be expected that the importance of this disease will continue to grow in the future. The estimated figures for the U.S. in 2030 could be used as a useful benchmark to extrapolate to other countries.

In 17 years’ time it is estimated that there will be a total of 67 million American adults who suffer from some form of arthritis (among which you will find osteoarthritis), of which over 36 % will be limited in their ability to lead a normal life.

Additional information can be found in other European countries. The patients interviewed in several studies claim that the pain and difficulty in carrying out basic movements are the factors that most affect them in their quality of life.

Dealing with the pain and immobility

There are different treatments available for tackling osteoarthritis, which can be divided into the following three groups:

  • Non-drug treatments:

The different physiotherapy solutions are vital because they help to maintain muscle strength and joint mobility, which can prevent the onset of more advanced stages of the disease.

  • Drug treatments: 

Although there is no drug currently capable of reversing the progression of the disease, there are drugs (anti-inflammatory), which can alleviate the pain suffered by the patient.

  • Surgical treatment: 

When the disease is in advanced stages, you can opt for surgery to alleviate the pain or possible limitations in the functionality of the joint.

In terms of treatments, scientific advances in the case of chondroitin sulfate and its effects against the widely known osteoarthritis are worthy of a special mention. It is a high-safety substance that protects the cartilage, the bone and synovial membrane, which are the 3 structures of the joint “attacked” by the disease.

At Best Doctors, we encourage you, before starting any treatment, to make sure you have an accurate and documented diagnosis, which is the foundation for the future with peace of mind.

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