Osteoarthritis can be caused by inflammatory enzymes, repetitive movements, decreased blood flow, insufficient levels of vitamin D and a reduced concentration of growth factors in the cartilage. Diabetes could worsen the condition, and a patient may be particularly susceptible to osteoarthritis if the individual is affected by injured joints, worn cartilage, sensitization or weak muscles that negatively influence the person’s movements.
Typically, repetitive motions are able to precipitate osteoarthritis pain because the movements consistently wear down the cartilage. Repetitive movements can eventually cause scar tissue to form in the joints, and consequently, a patient may experience stiffness and substantial pain that occurs when a joint moves.
According to one analysis, diabetes may double the risk of osteoarthritis, and the condition could decrease blood flow to joints that are affected by arthritis. Generally, high levels of glucose can also stimulate the release of inflammatory enzymes and may cause neuropathic arthropathy.
If a patient suffers from hemophilia, the cartilage may not receive an adequate supply of blood, so the joints may have insufficient levels of vitamins and nutrients. The disorder could also decrease the levels of calcium and phosphorus in a patient’s bones.
According to multiple studies, specialists may substantially mitigate inflammation and pain by increasing a patient’s levels of thrombospondins, which are glycoproteins that can heal wounds and stimulate angiogenesis. The additional thrombospondins may also decrease the sizes of osteophytes. Moreover, the experts can lessen the activity of metalloproteinase, and consequently, the specialists may prevent cartilage from degenerating.
Various analyses have shown that chronic pain may somewhat modify the central nervous system and the nociceptors, which are receptors that send numerous types of signals to the brain. Consequently, some neurons will deliver additional signals that are associated with pain, and certain nerves can become sensitive to stimuli that are related to motion. Physicians may monitor levels of monocytes in order to thoroughly evaluate the responses of specific neurons. Generally, a patient’s nerves may become sensitized once osteoarthritis has been detectable for at least five years.
After repetitive movements or injuries have caused inflammation, the body may release prostaglandins, which are compounds that can precipitate swelling and increase osteoarthritis pain. In order to reduce levels of inflammatory enzymes, a patient could take medications that contain naproxen or ibuprofen. In some cases, a physician may also prescribe corticosteroids, which are able to swiftly decrease pain and to prevent the enzymes from spreading.
Multiple reports have indicated that osteoarthritis can worsen chronic anxiety and depression, and the condition could reduce levels of numerous neurotransmitters. Likewise, the disorder may cause insomnia and might precipitate muscle tension that prevents patients from relaxing.
The condition can precipitate inflammation for more than 10 years before an affected patient experiences any pain, and most tests will not detect osteoarthritis until the disorder causes the spaces of the joints to become narrower. Before examining the openings in the joints, physicians can predict the progression of osteoarthritis by evaluating genetic polymorphisms, chemokines, cytokines and synovitis.