There are many health ailments that affect senior citizens. One of these ailments is osteoarthritis. This is very common in senior citizens and affects the joints within the body. When a senior has this disease there may be days in which simply walking somewhere is hard on their body. The pain alone can leave many seniors feeling as though they can do nothing but sit around their home. For seniors who are worried about this disease or who have this disease, there are three aspects that they need to know about this disease.

Outlines what Osteoarthritis looks like in the hands and finger joints

1. More women than men are affected by osteoarthritis.

Studies that have been conducted show that more women show signs of osteoarthritis than men. While it is also more women who suffer with pain from this disease, when compared to the number of men. However, women are only more affected after the age of 55 years old. Before the age of 55 years, there are just as many men who are affected with this disease.

2. There are certain risk factors that will increase a senior’s chance of having osteoarthritis. These risk factors include:

– Being obese
– Have a family history of arthritis or osteoarthritis
– Using joints more often, which may be the case for people who do more physical work throughout their lives
– Injury in joints can cause this disease to set up at a younger age and be more painful
– If the person suffers from muscle weakness, they are more likely to develop this disease

Picture showing Osteoarthritis in the hips and hip joints

3. It is usually joints that bear the weight of the body that are affected most by this disease. The joints most people report having osteoarthritis are:

– The knees
– The spine
– The hips

However, this does not mean that the person cannot have this in their ankles, fingers or any other joint in their body. Where a person gets this arthritis often depends on what type of job they have and which parts of their bodies were being physically used during this time.

Arthritic and non-arthritic spine side by side

When a person believes they are showing signs of having this disease, it is important to seek care immediately. Through catching this earlier, a person can suffer less as there are many medications on the market that the person can use. In addition, a simple lifestyle change can make a huge difference in how the person is feeling from day to day. To test for osteoarthritis doctors will look at x-rays of the joints to see where possible damage may be, as well as taking blood tests. Once this has been diagnosed the main objective is to control the pain the person is feeling. However, doctors are also trying to reduce more damage to the joint through having the person learn techniques that can minimize damage. Many seniors go to physical therapy in order to learn exercises that will keep their joints functioning.

Osteoarthritis is painful and is a disease that no one wants to get. However, those who do end up with this will find that it is manageable with the help of a doctor and learning just what you can and cannot do. This does not have to control your life, as you can control the disease.