Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the United States. It most commonly affects the
joints of the fingers, knees, hips, and spine. Osteoarthritis (OA) starts with the breakdown of joint cartilage,
resulting in pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease.
Common Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
- Joint pain and soreness, especially with movement.
- Stiffness after periods of inactivity, such as sleeping or sitting.
- Redness and swelling in 1 or more joints
- Enlargements of bones in the middle and end joints of the fingers
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
There are several factors that increase a persons risk of developing Osteoarthritis.
Age is the strongest risk factor for developing Osteoarthritis. The chance of developing the disease increases with age.
Most people over age 60 have osteoarthritis to some degree.
Traumatic injury to a joint increases your risk of developing Osteoarthritis in that joint.
Joints that are used repeatedly in certain jobs or sports may be more likely to develop Osteoarthritis.
Obesity increases the risk for osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.
Excess weight causes stress on joints that weren't made to support that weight.
Before age 45, osteoarthritis occurs more frequently in men. After age 45, osteoarthritis is more common in women.
A person could have a defect in one of the genes responsible for making cartilage.
This can cause cartilage to deteriorate more rapidly.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis
There are many types of accepted treatment for osteoarthritis. The most common treatments include:
medications, nutritional supplementation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise, and weight loss.
The most common types of medications used to reduce pain in osteoarthritis include acetaminophen (Tylenol),
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDS (such as Motrin, Advil, Aleve), and painkillers. Exercise and therapy
are tailored to the individuals needs.
When these treatments fail to be effective, surgery may be helpful to relieve pain.