Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. The joint cartilage that normally protects the bones from rubbing together wears down and causes the formation of bone spurs. The most common joints that are affected include the hands, feet, spine, hips and knees. The primary symptoms include joint pain, stiffness and restriction in movement and change in the joint shape. Most patient’s initial presentation includes joint pain and limitations in movement. Joint involvement, disease progression and age of onset can vary from person to person.
Signs and Symptoms of initial presentation are typically in one or a few joints in a middle-aged or older person. Other symptoms that may be present are stiffness, swelling, crackling sensation, bony outgrowths, muscle weakness, and poor balance. Risk factors include advanced age, female gender, obesity, occupation, sports and an accompanied diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Pain in Osteoarthritis is usually worse with joint use and better with rest. It is the most common symptom associated with Osteoarthritis and has a progression of 3 stages. It is important to realize that not all patients go through each specific stage and that pain can progress to any stage at any given time. Pain is also known to be worse in the morning or in the late afternoon or evening. Pain can interfere with sleep and can be a burning sensation throughout the joint.
Osteoarthritis is considered a chronic condition that worsens over time. However, there are several interventions that can slow the progression and help control symptoms. It is important to acknowledge that there are several treatment options that do not include medication. They can not only improve your symptoms but are the recommended first line of treatment.
The symptoms of Osteoarthritis can cause frustration, dependency and even depression. We can help you learn more about OA and together form a treatment plan that you will be motivated to stick with to help you resume your daily activities.