HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE OSTEOARTHRITIS & JOINT PAIN?
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis. It is more prevalent in the larger weight-bearing joints such as knees or hips but can occur at any joint in the body.
What Causes Osteoarthritis & Joint Pain?
Cartilage is a protective tissue that cushions the ends of your bones as they come together to form a joint. It prevents bone-on-bone and acts as a shock absorber. While it is possible to suffer from osteoarthritis joint pain from an injury, the vast majority of osteoarthritis joint pain is caused by the degeneration of cartilage.
As we age, our cartilage deteriorates from normal wear and tear, especially in frequently used joints. As the cartilage in our joints deteriorates, nearby tissues such as ligaments and tendons stretch resulting in pain and inflammation. Cartilage may harden and develop cracks or rough edges. In severe situations, the bones can rub against each other, change shape, and become damaged.
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis & Joint Pain?
Symptoms for osteoarthritis and joint pain typically develop gradually over time. The main symptom associated with osteoarthritis in a joint is pain. But you may also experience:
- Limited Range of Motion
- Muscle Weakness
- Joint Instability
- Joint Clicking During Movement
Symptoms can be intermittent and even increase with long bouts of inactivity or after movement involving the affected joint. Depending on the joint, you could feel symptoms in different ways. For example, pain symptoms for osteoarthritis in the hips can manifest in the groin, buttocks, or thigh.
Pain symptoms for osteoarthritis in the fingers can result in bony growths that lead to swollen, tender joints. If you think you may be suffering from osteoarthritis joint pain, there may be an underlying condition that needs treatment. Find your condition below with our online condition tool.
HOW IS OSTEOARTHRITIS & JOINT PAIN TREATED?
The hard truth about osteoarthritis is that once the cartilage that protects your joints deteriorates and breaks down, it doesn’t grow back on its own. So, if you think you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis, it’s important to get a diagnosis so you can begin the proper treatments right away. Common components of diagnosing osteoarthritis include a physical exam and imaging such as an MRI and x-rays.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Osteoarthritis & Joint Pain
While there is no medicinal cure for osteoarthritis joint pain there are non-surgical treatments that can decrease the symptoms. The non-surgical treatments for osteoarthritis joint pain include:
- Pain and anti-inflammatory medicines
- Joint aspiration
- Mobility exercises
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections.
Surgical Treatments for Osteoarthritis & Joint Pain
When nonsurgical treatments do not provide adequate relief, a minimally invasive surgery may be the best option. Surgical procedures for osteoarthritis can alleviate pain and improve joint mobility. The type of surgery you have is, first and foremost, dependent on the joint that is affected. Common surgical techniques for osteoarthritis joint pain include:
- Total joint replacement (arthroplasty)
If you think you may have osteoarthritis joint pain, find the right treatment for your situation with our online treatment finder.
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