Osteoarthritis (OA): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Exercises


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of joint disease that is “wear and tear” of joint cartilage and underlying bone.Symptoms are joint pain and stiffness. Other symptoms may include joint swelling, decreased the range of motion. The most common involved joints are knee, hips, neck, lower back, near the ends of the fingers, and at the base of the thumb. Unlike other types of arthritis, only the joints are typically affected.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Symptoms of osteoarthritis depending on which joints are affected and how severely affected. Affected joints get swollen, especially after activity. Some of the common symptoms include:

joint tenderness– The pain tends to be worse when movE the joint or at the end of the day.

Stiffness– Joints may feel stiff after rest, but this usually wears off as get moving.

A grinding sensation (crepitus) – Joint may the or crunch when move.

Swelling– The swelling may be hard (if osteophytes) or soft (if synovial thickening and extra fluid), and the muscles around the joint may look thin or wasted.

Range of motion- limited range of movement in your joints

OA may affect different parts of the body-

Osteoarthritis of the hip- If Osteoarthritis in the hips can cause difficulty moving the hip joints. Also, have pain in the groin or outside the hip. This is worse when moving the hip joints, it also affects in resting or sleeping.

Osteoarthritis of the knee- A “grating” or “scraping” sensation occurs when moving the knee.
If osteoarthritis in the knee, both knees will usually be affected over time.Sometimes, it difficult to straighten & bend legs. You may also hear a soft, grating sound when you move the affected joint.

Osteoarthritis of the hand-Osteoarthritis often affects the base of the thumb, joints that closest to the fingertips, and the middle joints of fingers.
Bony growths (bone spurs) at the edge of the joints may cause fingers become swollen, tender and red.

Osteoarthritis of the Feet- Pain, nd tenderness is felt commonly in the large joint at the base of the big toe and may be swelling in ankles or toes.

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Osteoarthritis Causes

OsteoarthritisMany factors may increase the risk of osteoarthritis. That includes:

Age– usually starts from the late 40s onwards and it’s more common in older people. Osteoarthritis might be due to the muscles weakening of the surrounding joints.

Osteoarthritis is more common and more severe in women.

Obesity– Overweight is an important factor in causing osteoarthritis, especially in knee.

Joint injury– Major injury or operation on a joint can lead to osteoarthritis in that joint later in life.

Joint abnormalities– It can lead to earlier and more severe osteoarthritis than usual. Perthes’ disease is an example of the hips.

Genetic factors– Nodal osteoarthritis, runs strongly in families, but it’s not yet clear which genes are involved. Genetic factors play a smaller role, but it is still important.

Osteoarthritis Diagnosis

Your physicians may suspect Osteoarthritis based on symptoms, medical history, and Physical exam. Sometimes further tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis and rule out the other possible causes. Your physicians may ask about your symptoms and examine affected the area, to make a diagnosisNo single test can diagnose osteoarthritis.
Other tests such as blood tests or examine fluid in the joints.

Osteoarthritis Treatment

Main goals of the Osteoarthritis treatment include:

  • Control pain
  • Keep a healthy body weight
  • Achieve a healthy lifestyle
  • Improve joint function

Osteoarthritis treatment plans may involve:

  • Exercise(Under supervision of a physical therapist)
  • Rest and joint care(Brace)
  • Nondrug pain relief techniques to control pain(Electrotherapy Equipment & Exercises)
  • Medicines(Glucosamine Supplement)
  • Surgery.