Everything You Need to Know About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis might also cause joint aches and stiffness. Certain medical drugs, way-of-life adjustments, and surgical procedures may want to help relieve aches and infections.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint situation that causes irritation, stiffness, and aches within the joints.

It’s the maximum common type of arthritis, affecting almost 32.5 million people in the United States.

Over time, osteoarthritis may lessen mobility and affect your fine of life, however, remedies should help gradual the development of the ailment.

Keep studying to learn more approximately the signs and symptoms, kinds, reasons, and remedies for osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis symptoms

Symptoms of osteoarthritis can also vary depending on the severity of your situation and which part of your body is affected.

The most not unusual signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis can also include:

  • joint ache
  • stiffness in the joint
  • lack of flexibility
  • reduced variety of motion
  • tenderness or discomfort when pressing on the affected regions with your hands
  • joint inflammation
  • crepitus, or grating, crackling, clicking, or popping sounds while transferring your joints
  • bone spurs, or greater lumps of bone, which can be usually painless

As osteoarthritis becomes extra advanced, the pain related to it can turn out to be more excessive. Over time, swelling in the joint and surrounding vicinity may additionally occur.

Learn more approximately the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis reasons

Osteoarthritis is because of slow joint and cartilage damage.

Cartilage is a hard, rubbery substance that protects the ends of bones inside a joint, allowing them to move without difficulty against every difference. With osteoarthritis, this cartilage breaks down through the years, mainly due to bones rubbing toward each other. This may additionally cause excessive aches and different osteoarthritis signs.

Researchers don’t yet recognize the underlying reason for this slow joint degeneration, in step with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

However, numerous osteoarthritis chance factors have been identified, which may additionally contribute to the development and development of the circumstance. These may include:

  • genetics, inclusive of having a member of the family with the circumstance
  • beyond injuries, consisting of torn cartilage, dislocated joints, or ligament accidents
  • being age 50 years and older
  • being assigned a girl at the beginning
  • having overweight or obesity
  • having long gone through menopause
  • having an occupation that includes kneeling, climbing, heavy lifting, or similar moves
  • having another scientific situation that affects your joint health, which includes a distinctive type of arthritis

Types of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can also affect different parts of your body.

It most generally influences the knees and hips, however it can arise in any joint. Other varieties of osteoarthritis consist of:

  • hands osteoarthritis
  • arms osteoarthritis
  • shoulder osteoarthritis
  • spinal osteoarthritis
  • cervical osteoarthritis (spondylosis)

Osteoarthritis is a revolutionary circumstance, which means that signs and symptoms may also unfold to different elements of your frame. Having osteoarthritis in a single part of your body can also growth your threat of developing the circumstance in different frame components, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Stages of osteoarthritis

Osteoarithis is an innovative situation that can be labeled into four tiers. This may additionally rely upon the severity of your symptoms and the degree of joint and cartilage harm.

The four tiers of osteoarthritis are:

  • Stage 1 (Mild): You may additionally enjoy early signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, however, your cartilage remains in proper form.
  • Stage 2 (Moderate): You may additionally enjoy sharp, acute signs and symptoms. Your cartilage is displaying signs of wear and tear.
  • Stage 3 (Advanced): You may enjoy regular osteoarthritis signs and symptoms, particularly while you follow weight to the affected joint. The joint cartilage is likewise almost completely gone.
  • Stage 4 (Severe): This is the maximum extreme form of osteoarthritis. You may also experience:
      • severe ache, stiffness, and infection
      • decreased range of motion.
      • joint instability, including surprising locking or buckling
      • different symptoms, consisting of muscle weakness, bone spurs, and joint deformity


During stage 4 osteoarthritis, you’ll probably need a surgical procedure to reduce your symptoms and growth mobility, characteristics, and pleasant of lifestyle.

Osteoarthritis diagnosis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative circumstance that usually develops progressively. It can be difficult to offer an accurate analysis within the early stages.

A healthcare expert will start with a physical exam and ask approximately your signs and scientific records.

They might also then order imaging tests to get a higher observe your joints, inclusive of X-ray or MRI.

In some instances, a health practitioner can also order an ESR blood take a look at or a synovial (joint) fluid analysis to see if different conditions can be causing inflammation or joint pain. Some situations they may rule out include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • gout
  • pseudogout
  • hemochromatosis
  • bursitis

If you need help finding a primary care doctor, check out our Healthline FindCare tool.

Osteoarthritis treatment

There’s no treatment for osteoarthritis, however, treatment will help:

  • relieve symptoms
  • growth joint flexibility, mobility, and feature
  • lessen infection
  • boom your exceptional life

A healthcare professional can assist expand the pleasant treatment plan for you. This can also vary for each individual depending on several factors, along with the severity of your symptoms and which part of your body is affected.

Your osteoarthritis treatment plan will generally include a mixture of remedies. These may additionally encompass:

  • way of life changes, along with exercising, sleep, and weight control
  • dietary changes, consisting of eating anti-inflammatory foods
  • herbal remedies, which include yoga, dietary supplements, and cold and heat treatments
  • over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, consisting of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pills (NSAIDs)
  • prescription medicinal drugs, along with corticosteroids
  • bodily therapy
  • assistive gadgets, together with knee braces
  • surgical operation, including total knee alternative and osteotomy

Complications of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis may cause a whole lot of physical, intellectual, and emotional complications if left untreated.

A commonplace worry of osteoarthritis is expanded stiffness in your joints, which can lead to impaired stability and mobility. According to the Arthritis Foundation, this could significantly growth your risk of falling, which may cause minor or excessive accidents.

Other possible complications of osteoarthritis may consist of:

  • Deficient sleep
  • weight benefit because of aches or confined mobility
  • tension
  • depression
  • osteonecrosis, or bone death
  • erosion of the ligaments and tendons
  • hairline (pressure) fractures
  • hemarthrosis, or bleeding near the joints

Osteoarthritis prevention

You may have danger factors for osteoarthritis that you may not trade, which include heredity and age.

However, several modifiable danger elements would be prevented with the subsequent recommendations:

  • maintain a healthful-for-you weight
  • Get a minimum of 150 minutes of low-effect exercise each week
  • manage your blood sugar degrees, specifically if you have diabetes
  • manage your blood strain, in particular when you have high blood pressure
  • consume a nicely balanced, anti-inflammatory weight loss program
  • use proper techniques when lifting items, consisting of lifting along with your hips and legs as opposed to your again
  • use assistive gadgets, along with canes
  • Choose the right shoes.

Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid arthritis

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) proportion similar signs, but they’re distinct conditions.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition, which means that it will increase in severity over time.

RA may additionally cause progressive joint damage over time if left untreated.

However, RA is an autoimmune disorder. In this approach the immune gadget mistakenly attacks the healthy, gentle lining (synovium) around your joints. As the immune machine launches its attack, fluid buildup occurs inside the joint. This causes stiffness, pain, swelling, and infection.

If you’re unsure which shape of arthritis you can have, speak with a health practitioner. They can provide a right prognosis and broaden a remedy plan on your condition.

Frequently asked questions

What is the first-rate issue to do for osteoarthritis?

The first-class treatment for osteoarthritis will depend on the kind and severity of your signs and symptoms. Exercising, consuming a properly-balanced weight loss program, and following your treatment plan may want to assist enhance signs and symptoms, mobility, and excellent lifestyle.

What is the number one treatment for osteoarthritis?

The best remedy for osteoarthritis will rely on numerous factors, inclusive of the severity of your signs and symptoms. For instance, way of life changes and natural remedies can be enough to help manage stages 1 and a 2 osteoarthritis. However, ranges 3 and 4 osteoarthritis may additionally require extra invasive treatments, together with surgical procedures.

What do need to you not do with osteoarthritis?

If you have osteoarthritis, it’s fine to keep away from excessive impact sports, twisting the affected joint, or putting immoderate pressure on the affected joint.


Osteoarthritis is a chronic situation that can cause infection, pain, and stiffness in your joints. Although there’s no treatment, a treatment plan should help control your signs and symptoms, increase mobility, and improve your first-class of life. Speak with a healthcare expert in case you think you may have osteoarthritis. They could offer the right analysis and expand a treatment plan that’s right for you.