Information and Facts about Joints Arthritis:
Osteoarthritis, sometimes called Degenerative Joint Disease or “wear and tear” arthritis, Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints. It occurs when the cartilage or cushion between joints breaks down leading to pain, stiffness and swelling.
OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.
Although OA occurs in people of all ages, osteoarthritis is most common in people older than 65. Common risk factors include increasing age, overweight, previous joint injury, overuse of the joint, weak thigh muscles, and genetic predispositions.
- One in two adults will develop symptoms of knee OA during their lives.
- One in four adults will development symptoms of hip OA by age 85.
- One in 12 people 60 years or older have hand OA.
Diagnosis & Symptoms:
Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary, depending on which joints are affected and how severely they are affected. However, the most common symptoms are pain and stiffness, particularly first thing in the morning or after resting. Affected joints may get swollen, especially after extended activity. These symptoms tend to build over time rather than show up suddenly. Some of the common symptoms include:
Sore or stiff joints – particularly the hips, knees, and lower back – after inactivity or overuse.
- Limited Range of Motion or stiffness that goes away after movement
- Clicking or Cracking sound when a joint bends
- Mild swelling around a joint
- Pain that is worse after activity or toward the end of the day
Here are ways OA may affect different parts of the body:
Hips: Pain is felt in the groin area or buttocks and sometimes on the inner side of the knee or thigh.
Knees. A “grating” or “scraping” sensation occurs when moving the knee…Knee osteoarthritis.
Fingers. Bony growths (spurs) at the edge of joints can cause fingers to become swollen, tender and red. There may be pain at the base of the thumb.
Feet. Pain and tenderness is felt in the large joint at the base of the big toe. There may be swelling in ankles or toes.
Spine Osteoarthritis: Affecting the facet joints in between the spine from the neck though out the whole vertebral column….facet joint syndrome
OA pain, swelling or stiffness may make it difficult to perform ordinary tasks at work or at home. Simple acts like tucking in bed sheets, opening a box of food, grasping a computer mouse or driving a car can become nearly impossible.
When the lower body joints are affected, activities such as walking, climbing stairs and lifting objects may become difficult.
When finger and hand joints are affected, osteoarthritis can make it difficult to grasp and hold objects, such as a pencil, or to do delicate tasks, such as needlework.
Many people believe that the effects of osteoarthritis are inevitable, so they don’t do anything to manage it. OA symptoms can hinder work, social life and family life if steps are not taken to prevent joint damage, manage pain and increase flexibility.