Osteoarthritis is a condition marked by joint pain and stiffness that affects approximately 27 million Americans. While it can impact any joints, it most commonly causes pain in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. It is a leading cause of disability and the most common form of arthritis, and the reason why millions of people struggle to accomplish day-to-day or work-related activities. While the joint damage that osteoarthritis causes can’t be reversed, lifestyle changes and careful treatment can minimize the discomfort of chronic joint pain.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the bones around certain joints wears down. As a result, the bones rub together, causing stiffness and pain.
While osteoarthritis can impact any adult, it mostly occurs in older individuals.
Osteoarthritis may occur slowly over time due to general wear and tear and joint usage, especially among those who lead an active lifestyle. While age is the greatest risk factor for osteoarthritis, other causes of this degenerative joint disease include:
The symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
Depending on which joints are impacted and your symptoms’ severity, your doctor will devise a treatment plan to minimize your pain and discomfort and help you maximize your quality of life. Treatment options for osteoarthritis include:
If you are experiencing chronic joint pain, stiffness, and tenderness, and it’s impacting your ability to work, care for your home, and lead a comfortable lifestyle, talk to your doctor. They can determine if osteoarthritis is causing the pain you feel and can devise a treatment plan to minimize your pain.