Osteoarthritis is one of the most common arthritis. Osteoarthritis can be caused by a number of different things such as aging joints, injury, and obesity. Osteoarthritis symptoms include joint pain and stiffness. Treatment depends on the affected joint, including the hand, wrist, neck, back, knee, and hip, and often involves medication and exercise. If you weight is the cause of your OA, weight loss can help your symptoms. In this article, we’ll explore osteoarthritis symptoms, causes and treatments.
Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that permits nearly frictionless joint motion. In osteoarthritis, the slick surface of the cartilage becomes rough. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, you may be left with bone rubbing on bone. There’s a lot of different risk factors that are attached to osteoarthritis. We typically see osteoarthritis found more in women then men. Bone deformities can also increase your risk for OA. As we mentioned earlier, both aging and obesity can cause osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis affects a lot of people across the world. Nearly 27 million people in America alone have osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Pain. Your joints can hurt during and after physical activity.
- Tenderness. Your joints may feel sore and tender when pressure is applied.
- Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joints as they should be able to move.
- Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
- Bone spurs. These bone spurs, which are pieces of bone that form lumps, may appear around the affected joints.
There’s several different symptoms that may suggest that you have osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints. Unlike many other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus, osteoarthritis does not affect other organs of the body. This type of osteoarthritis is limited to your joints.
The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joints after repetitive use. Joint pain is usually worse in the evening hours. You may experience swelling, warmth, and discomfort of the affected joints. Pain and stiffness of the joints can also occur after long periods of inactivity. You may experience these symptoms while sitting for hours. The longer the duration, the worse symptoms can get. In severe osteoarthritis, complete loss of cartilage causes friction between bones, causing pain at rest or pain with limited motion. This can cause mile/extreme pain and discomfort.
Osteoarthritis symptoms can vary from one person to the next. Some patients can have severe mobility issues and pain. Completely opposite, others may have few symptoms if any despite severe degeneration of the joints shown by X-ray. Symptoms also can be intermittent. It is not unusual for patients with osteoarthritis of the hands and knees to have years of pain-free intervals between symptoms.
Osteoarthritis of the knees is often associated with obesity or a history of repeated injury and/or joint surgery. We see this a lot in sports and athletics. Progressive cartilage degeneration of the knee joints can lead to deformity and outward curvature of the knees referred to as “bow legged.” Patients with osteoarthritis of the weight bearing joints (like the knees) can develop a limp. The limping can worsen as more cartilage degenerates. In some patients, the pain, limping, and joint dysfunction may not respond to medications or other conservative measures. Therefore, severe osteoarthritis of the knees is one of the most common reasons for total knee replacement surgical procedures in the U.S.
Osteoarthritis of the spine causes pain in the neck or low back. Bony spurs that form along the arthritic spine can irritate spinal nerves, causing severe pain, numbness, and tingling of the affected parts of the body.
Osteoarthritis causes the formation of hard bony enlargements of the small joints of the fingers. Classic bony enlargement of the small joint at the end of the fingers is called a Heberden’s node, named after a British doctor. The bony deformity is a result of the bone spurs from the osteoarthritis in that joint. Another common bony knob (node) occurs at the middle joint of the fingers in many patients with osteoarthritis and is called a Bouchard’s node, named after a French doctor who studied arthritis patients in the late 1800s. The Heberden’s and Bouchard’s nodes may not be painful, but they are often associated with limitation of motion of the joint. The characteristic appearances of these finger nodes can be helpful in diagnosing osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the joint at the base of the big toes leads to the formation of a bunion. Osteoarthritis of the fingers and the toes may have a genetic basis, and can be found in many female members of some families.
There’s several different osteoarthritis treatments that can be used to relieve your pain. The type of OA treatment depends on the location of your osteoarthritis. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are medications to help relieve pain, when needed. The doctor may recommend physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT) to help improve strength and function. When pain is severe and frequent or mobility and daily activities become difficult, surgery may be considered.
Exercise, massage, hot/cold treatments and Yoga are all options for those who suffer from osteoarthritis.
Spinal Osteoarthritis Treatments
Spinal osteoarthritis is arthritis that affects the spine. Even though there’s not a cure for osteoarthritis to date, there are treatments out there that can help you with your back pain. The Doctor’s Back Pain Systems is a powerful back pain system that relieves spinal osteoarthritis. If you do suffer from spinal osteoarthritis, be sure to take the time to sign up for our free pain relief webinar. Just scroll to the top of your page and fill out the form on the right. It only takes a second and I promise you won’t regret it.