Mostly, osteoarthritis is caused by what might be described as general 'wear and tear' on the human body.
This accounts for a large percentage of the problem, but there are many examples of people who have had very similar lives, one of whom will have virtually perfect joints, while the other suffers from severe osteoarthritis.
This means that in some people, there exists vulnerability to the onset of the disease.
X-rays and blood tests are deployed to confirm the diagnosis and to help rule out the more aggressive types of inflammatory arthritis.
For the most part treatment is to keep mobile and active, taking pain killers (analgesics) such as paracetamol or paracetamol based medications.
If necessary, especially when the joints are swollen, hot and more painful (inflamed), anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen are sometimes advised.
Physiotherapy techniques can also be helpful, both in the form of active treatment, and in the form of exercises.
The physiotherapist, and sometimes an occupational therapist may advise on orthopaedic supports which may help the sufferer get around or to make certain activities easier.
Grab rails near the bath, adaptations to taps and electrical plugs etc can often be of great help, too.
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