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Just diagnosed with osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can be effectively managed with medicine, exercise and in some cases surgery.

The symptoms of osteoarthritis vary greatly from person to person, and between different affected joints.

The amount of damage to the joints and the severity of symptoms can also vary. For example, a joint may be severely damaged without causing symptoms, or symptoms may be severe without affecting the movement of a joint.

A diagnosis of osteoarthritis is done through a combination of a a history and physical examination and possibly X-rays. X-rays and blood tests may also be done to exclude other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but the symptoms can be eased with a number of different treatments. These include non-drug treatments such as physiotherapy and weight loss, medicine such as painkillers, and surgery.

Mild symptoms can often be assisted by exercise, wearing suitable footwear and using other types of devices to assist day to day functioning. More advanced cases of osteoarthritis may require other treatments.

Arthritis Australia provides more information on osteoarthritis through their website at www.arthritisaustralia.com.au, or by calling their Arthritis Information Line on 1800 011 041.

Last reviewed: September 2016

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Clinical genetic testing refers to the laboratory analysis of DNA or RNA to aid in the diagnosis of disease. Genetic testing can provide definitive diagnosis as well as help predict the likelihood of developing a particular disease before symptoms even appear. It can tell if a person is carrying a specific gene that could be passed on to his or her children and sometimes it can give information as to whether some treatments will work before a patient starts therapy. These are definite advantages. However, there are also some issues in genetic testing that should be carefully thought out and discussed with a genetic counsellor or clinical geneticist before undergoing any testing. These aspects are reviewed in the section titled Pros and cons of genetic testing. In an era of patient responsibility, it is important that both health professionals and patients are educated in these matters to fully appreciate the value as well as the drawbacks of genetic testing.

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Rheumatoid arthritis

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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects the strength and quality of the bones, causing weakness in the skeleton.

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Pain

Pain is one of the bodys important alarm systems, warning us that we are under threat

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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a common health condition that causes widespread body pain and sensitivity to touch.

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Complex regional pain syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can occur after a simple injury such as a sprained ankle or a broken arm.

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