• Osteoarthritis Basics

Joints are the parts of your body where your bones meet. Joints allow the bones of your skeleton to move.

Joint pain is often defined as discomfort, aches, and soreness in any of the body’s joints. Joint pain is a common complaint. It doesn’t typically require a hospital visit.

What causes joint pain?

There are several factors that could be causing your pain but the most common causes of joint pain is arthritis. The two primary forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. According to the American College of Rheumatology, osteoarthritis is most common in adults over the age of 40.

Exactly What is Osteoarthritis?

Sometimes it’s called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, sometimes just “OA.” Not only is it the most common cause of joint pain, but It is the most common chronic condition occurring in human joints.

Unfortunately, approximately 27 million Americans are affected by the disease. OA can alter any joint surface, it progresses slowly, but most often it occurs in the knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.

In healthy joints, there is a firm, dense covering material called cartilage. Cartilage covers the end of each bone and serves as a cushion and shock absorber for the joints.

In OA, this surface breaks down, causing swelling, pain, fluid buildup and difficulty moving the joint. In the advanced stages, Osteoarthritis will cause the breaking down of the cartilage cushion over time; bones can rub on bones with no barriers for protection.

This disruption in the cartilage integrity will cause the bones to break down and may develop growths sometimes referred to as “spurs.” Bits of bone or cartilage can also detach and float around in the joint space. All the actions of OA result in more and more pain in your joints.

Although OA occurs in people of all ages, osteoarthritis is most common in people older than 65.

Common Risk Factors of Osteoarthritis:

Increasing Age

elderly man with joint replacement walking on the beach

Overuse of the Joint

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Doctor measuring obese man waist body fat

Weak Thigh Muscles

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Previous Joint Injury

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What can you do if you have been diagnosed with OA or think you may be experiencing symptoms?

See an orthopedic specialist physician. Today’s, physicians who specialize in orthopedics have more treatment options available to them than ever before. These physicians can work with your symptoms to get you back you being you!