Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, typically occurring in those who are middle-aged. This painful condition affects your joints and overall mobility in various parts of the body, including knees, fingers, and hips. Though sometimes occurring naturally with age, an injury or obesity may cause someone to experience osteoarthritis.
There are several symptoms that indicate whether or not someone has this condition. However, the only way to know for sure is to speak to a healthcare professional. Those who experience any combination of these symptoms should reach out for professional help. There are multiple treatment options available to help osteoarthritis patients manage their symptoms and retain mobility.
Please note, osteoarthritis symptoms tend to occur and increase in their severity over time. Symptoms may be mild in some cases and severe in others.
Joint stiffness is a common feature of osteoarthritis, especially in the morning or soon after resting during the day. This stiffness will make it more difficult to move, although it will typically wear off as the day goes on.
Painful and/or aching joints during or after an activity is another symptom of osteoarthritis. This pain may occur in the hands, knees, or any other joint in the body. While feelings of pain often appear in concurrence with long or difficult activities, they may also seem to come out of nowhere at times.
Those experiencing reduced muscle strength, even when giving their full effort, might be showing a symptom of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis often causes weaker muscles, increased fatigue, and overall lesser ability to move and contract muscles.
The most visible sign of osteoarthritis is swelling around the affected joint. The swelling will typically enlargen the joint and render it painful and/or difficult to move. The area may also be quite tender and uncomfortable.
Buckling joints, and joint instability in general, are a major indicator of osteoarthritis. Many experience this symptom as one or both of their knees giving while they’re walking, especially if they’re trying to walk uphill or downstairs.
Another symptom of osteoarthritis is experiencing a limited range of motion in certain parts of the body. This could be the hip when trying to get in a car or get out of bed, or even in hands when trying to write. This limited range of motion might disappear once the movement has been completed, but is likely to return later.
Hearing cracking or clicking sounds when bending a joint is a common sign of osteoarthritis. This is a sign that the protective cartilage between your bones has broken down. Sometimes these sounds are just a harmless symptom of limited mobility, but they shouldn’t be happening on a daily basis.
Ask a Professional for Help
Those experiencing two or more of these symptoms could very well be suffering from osteoarthritis. The only way to know for sure is to seek out help from a healthcare professional.
They can offer both a concrete diagnosis and a plan on how to proceed that will ensure the patient retains the highest quality of life possible. This Osteo treatment plan may include a combination of medication and/or an exercise and care program to help patients stay mobile and empowered while learning to live with osteoarthritis.