Osteoarthritis Symptoms

If you have any concerns whether or not you suffer from osteoarthritis symptoms, then you may need to talk to your doctor about it. He will be able to diagnose your symptoms and treat your condition. The most overriding symptom present in osteoarthritis is the pain. Stiffness and pain in the joint can be experienced by an osteoarthritis sufferer when he tries to stand up after sitting for a long while or after his joint has been subjected to certain types of activities. Normally there may be some degree of pain that a person may experience after exercise, and the post-workout frequency of the pain and its severity may determine osteoarthritis.

As the degree of cartilage damage in osteoarthritis worsens so too will the symptoms get worse. The joints will become stiffer and the pain will correspondingly increase. Certain people unfortunately will experience symptoms of this disease that becomes so unbearable they eventually become disabled. Some people with this condition, on the other hand, may not find osteoarthritis that debilitating and, therefore, live relatively normal and painless lives.

The joints in the shoulders, knees and spine are the most common joints that are affected by osteoarthritis symptoms. A lot of individuals who experience osteoarthritis symptoms in the knees tend to be overweight and many of them after having lost weight have experienced relief from their symptoms.

The main factor causing osteoarthritis is age, although previous injuries and obesity can also play a major role in this disease as well.  Most sufferers of osteoarthritis do see their doctor after they have experienced its initial symptoms. Some tend to vacillate until the time when their symptoms seriously affect their life and are too painful to ignore. Some knee osteoarthritis sufferers avail of knee surgery to have their knee cartilage replaced. A lot of physicians advice their patients to take over-the-counter pain medication as well as supplements to neutralize the symptoms.

Pain in your lower back and neck can be the fault of osteoarthritis that has developed in your lumbar or cervical spine. The arthritic spine can develop osteophytes which are bony spurs that cause tingling and numbness to certain parts of the body, extreme pain radiating down the spine and irritation of the spinal nerves.

The small joints of the finger can experience pain when they develop hard bony enlargements caused by osteoarthritis. Heberden’s node (named after a British physician) is one perfect example of a bony enlargement of the small joint located at the end of the fingers.  The bone spurs of the small joint causes bone deformity which is another sign of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis also causes another bony node growth termed as Bouchard’s node that develops at the finger’s middle joint of many osteoarthritis patients. This bone abnormality is named after a French doctor who researched on arthritis in the 18th century.  Both Heberden’s and Bouchard’s nodes are usually related with problems of the joint’s range of motion although both conditions are not painful. The manifestations/presence of either Heberden’s or Bouchard’s nodes can be clear factors in diagnosing osteoarthritis.

When the joint located at the base of the big toe develops osteoarthritis, the result will be the appearance of a bunion. A person having toe and finger osteoarthritis may have inherited this condition and usually osteoarthritis in the toe and finger strike the females of families who have a family history of    osteoarthritis.

If you think that you experience osteoarthritis symptoms of stiffness and pain of certain joints that worsen over time, then it is highly advised that you see a doctor.
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Osteoarthritis Risk Factors

When something increases your chances of developing a condition or disease, then that something is considered a risk factor for you.

A person can have osteoarthritis with or without the list of risk factors shown below – If you have multiple risk factors, the greater the chance of you developing osteoarthritis. If you indeed have multiple risk factors, you can talk to your doctor about ways to lessen those risks.

Lifestyle Factors

Lack of exercise can lead to the weakening of the thigh muscles that in turn adds to your chances of getting osteoarthritis in the knee. To help protect your thigh muscles from this condition, exercises that tonify these muscles are highly recommended.

Medical Condition

The chances of developing osteoarthritis are greatly increased if you have or have had:

Bleeding into the joint
Pdeudgout or gout
Iron overload disease (hemochromatosis)
Paget’s disease of bone
Acromegaly
Weakness of congenital defect of a joint
The joint’s history of infection
Past surgery to the joint
Previous injury to a joint

Age

About half of seniors 65 and older suffer from arthritis in at least one joint
More than 80% of seniors over 75 years of age suffer from arthritis in at least one joint
These seniors may not necessarily show significant or severe symptoms of osteoarthritis

Gender

45 years and older – More men than women experience osteoarthritis
55 years and older – More women than men suffer from osteoarthritis

Genetic Factors

Osteoarthritis tends to develop in people who have a family history of this disease

Ethnic Background

Different ethnicities exhibit distinct risk factors for developing osteoarthritis.

African-American females exhibit less osteoarthritis of the hand and more osteoarthritis of the knee compared to Caucasian women in the US.
Knee and hip osteoarthritis is commonly found among the Japanese. Asian Indians, Black South Africans, Jamaican and Chinese people exhibit less osteoarthritis than the Japanese.
Compared to Asians, Caucasians have a higher chance of developing osteoarthritis.

You have a high chance to develop osteoarthritis if you:

Vigorously participate in activities that entail a lot of squatting, lifting or repetitive joint use. This may be because the nature of your work which entails routine and repetitive use of your joints or if you are an athlete who performs repetitive workouts that involve the use of the joints.

Galina Semyonova is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in New York City. She has studied extensively in the fields of biofeedback therapy, SCENAR therapy, Chinese herbal treatments and Chinese and Western nutrition.

Osteoarthritis Definition

OA or osteoarthritis is also referred to by doctors as degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis. OA is a type of arthritis that is the result of the inflammation, degeneration and wearing out of the joint cartilage over time.

In the United States, around 28 million people are affected by this joint disorder according to the Arthritis Foundation, USA.

Since the symptoms and signs of osteoarthritis slowly worsen over time, osteoarthritis is considered a progressive disease. Osteoarthritis has been affecting humanity for centuries but so far, no cure is still available for this condition. Treating the signs and symptoms are the only ways to address osteoarthritis and this entails relieving the inflammation, swelling and pain and enabling the sufferer to be active and mobile. It has been observed that people who perform measures to proactive control their osteoarthritis are in a much better position to better manage their symptoms than those who follow a more passive path when addressing their symptoms.

All joints in the body can be affected by osteoarthritis; however, it most likely hits these parts of the person’s body:

  • Neck
  • Lower back
  • Knees
  • Hips

There are three attributes that osteoarthritis possesses:

Synovitis – Evidence of inflammation of the tissues surrounding the joints

Cartilage damage – The cartilage is a joint component that serves as a shock absorber for the bones and cushions the ends of the bones. It also enables the joints to move smoothly and painlessly

The ends of the joints develops bony growths

People of all ages can develop osteoarthritis although people 50 years of age and above are the most likely one to acquire this disease.

Osteoarthritis symptoms usually start to manifest after a person passes 40 years old. As mentioned this is a progressive disease and as the person ages his symptoms become more severe. Osteoarthritis has a considerable impact to the US economy since it is one of the major reasons of loss for man hours and medical expenditures (about almost $130 billion in medical expenses). On average osteoarthritis will cost the sufferer about $5,700 in medical and other related expenses.

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