Ask the Expert
Edward V. A. Lim, MD
A: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition most frequently of the weight bearing joints, but also of the small joints of the hand. As such, it does not "spread" per se, but does sometimes affect different joints at different times. The prevention of the progression of osteoarthritis, however is multiple: losing weight, particularly of weight bearing joints, substituting motion exercises for heavy impact loading exercises, warm water exercises, the judicious use of ice for inflamed joints, and warmth for stiff ones and on occasion anti - inflammatory agents like aspirin, ibuprofen etc, or even prescription NSAIDS.
Once osteoarthritis begins, it is present with you.
While you cannot stop it or make it disappear, you can control its symptoms and slow its progression and still live a functional and useful life with activity modification correct exercises, and medications. In severe cases, joint replacement and other surgical options are available and can improve the quality of your life. To learn more, visit www.thechristhospital.com/Ortho.