Also sometimes called “wear and tear” arthritis or degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.
According to the CDC, osteoarthritis affects nearly 14% of the population.
It is primarily a disease that comes with aging, as the cartilage around the joints degenerate (break down) over time. However, osteoarthritis can affect people of any age.
Repetitive motion also contributes to the breakdown of cartilage.
The loss of bone and ligament can leave painful bone on bone conditions, diminishing a person’s activities of daily living and their quality of life.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis at this time.
What are the Symptoms?
Very often the symptoms of osteoarthritis develop very slowly and get worse with time.
One of the first symptoms will likely be pain in the affected joint. It may hurt with or without movement.
Stiffness of the joints, especially in the morning when you get out of bed, is a telltale sign of osteoarthritis.
Sometimes joints will be tender when pressed lightly.
You may begin to find you are not as flexible as you once were and that you have trouble with your range of motion.
Sometimes bone spurs, which are extra little pieces of bone, can form and cause a hard lump around the joint.
You may notice a grating sound, popping, or grating feeling when you move your joint.
What is Osteoarthritis? by St Pete Hip and Knee
What are the Risk Factors of Developing Osteoarthritis?
Being an older person increases your risk of developing this degenerative disease.
Being obese is not only very unhealthy, it puts severe stress on joints, especially knees and hips. This additional stress to the important joints that bear the weight of the body can be damaging.
Doctors are not sure why, but it seems that women are more likely than men to develop the condition.
Certain jobs call for repetitive tasks and stress on joints day after day. This can certainly contribute to developing the disease.
Injuries to the joints, especially those resulting from sports injuries create a risk factor for developing OA.
Some people are born with deformities of the bones or joints that are not properly formed. Either of these could increase the risk of getting osteoarthritis.
When Should I Seek Medical Care?
Many times, pain or stiffness will drive a person to go see their doctor. Other times, people let the problem go and suffer needlessly. The doctor can’t help you if you don’t make an appointment and go!
If the symptoms mentioned here, such as pain and stiffness, decreased flexibility, grinding noises when the joint moves, and etc., persist, you should check in with your doctor or refer to Jason Hope.
He or she will want to take some lab tests, do some x-rays, and possibly some MRI’s to help with the diagnosis.
What Do I Do if I am Diagnosed with Osteoarthritis?
Don’t worry. It is the most common kind of arthritis. Many people live with osteoarthritis. There are many wonderful treatment options, which you should discuss with your own doctor.
Try to stay active and keep moving as much as you can. (Talk to you doctor first!)
Do exercises to help retain your flexibility, like stretches or yoga.
Make sure to eat well, as in eat a good healthy balanced diet to get all your vitamins and minerals.
Get plenty of quality rest and at least eight hours of sleep. Take naps too.
You too can live well into your older years with osteoarthritis by taking some of these simple measures to care for yourself and your joints.