Osteoarthritis / Joint Disease
Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease is one of the oldest, and most common types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis / Joint Disease is characterized by the breakdown of the joint’s cartilage. Cartilage is the part of the joint that cushions the ends of bones. Cartilage breakdown causes bones to rub against each other, causing pain and loss of movement.
The main symptom is pain, causing loss of ability and often stiffness. “Pain” is generally described as a sharp achy, or a burning sensation in the associated muscles and tendons. OA can cause a crackling noise (called “crepitus”) when the affected joint is moved or touched, and patients may experience muscle spasm and contractions in the tendons. Occasionally, the joints may also be filled with fluid. Humid and cold weather increases the pain in many patients.
Some investigators believe that mechanical stress on joints underlies all osteoarthritis, with many and varied sources of mechanical stress, including misalignments of bones caused by congenital or pathogenic causes; mechanical injury; overweight; loss of strength in muscles supporting joints; and impairment of peripheral nerves, leading to sudden or uncoordinated movements that over stress joints.
Most commonly affecting middle-aged and older people, osteoarthritis can range from very mild to very severe. It affects hands and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet, and the back.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis / Joint Disease
- Gradual and subtle onset of deep aching joint pain
- Worse after exercise or weight bearing
- Often relieved by rest
- Joint swelling
- Limited movement
- Morning stiffness
- Grating of the joint with motion
- Joint pain in rainy weather
- There may be no symptoms