Risk Factors and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a joint inflammation that results from cartilage degeneration. It causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in your joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips or spine.

For many, although by no means everyone, arthritis seems to be an inevitable part of the aging process, and there are no signs of long-lasting cures in the immediate future. On the positive side, advances in both conventional medical treatment and alternative therapies make living with arthritis more bearable.

Risk factors of Osteoarthritis include:
  • Older age
  • Having family members with OA
  • Obesity
  • Joint injury or repetitive use (overuse) of joints
  • Joint deformity such as unequal leg length, bowlegs or knocked knees.

The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are:
  • pain (particularly when you’re moving the joint or at the end of the day)
  • stiffness (especially after rest – this usually eases after a minute or so as you get moving)
  • crepitus, a creaking, crunching, grinding sensation when you move the joint
  • hard swellings (caused by osteophytes)
  • soft swellings (caused by extra fluid in the joint)

Other symptoms can include:
  • the joint giving way because your muscles have become weak or the joint structure is less stable
  • the joint not moving as freely or as far as normal
  • the muscles around your joint looking thin or wasted

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