Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and Mayo Clinic estimates three million people are diagnosed with osteoarthritis annually. It is estimated over 27 million Americans are currently diagnosed with osteoarthritis. OA is also commonly named:
- Degenerative arthritis
- Wear and tear arthritis
- Degenerative joint disease
It is explained as a chronic condition that occurs after the cartilage cushioning the joints breaks down. When this happens, the bones rub onto one another, which eventually cause pain, stiffness and loss of movement of the joints.
OA is basically not a condition that usually surfaces after the age of 40 years old. The condition is usually gradual as the symptoms increase with severity and frequency. The first symptoms may be stiffness or soreness.
- When you experience stiffness after resting that disappears after movement.
- When you experience stiff or sore joints especially at the lower back, knees and hips. This is usually after overuse or inactivity.
OA is also known to affect the small finger joints, neck region base of the thumb, big toe and ankle. You may find that the pain is usually moderate or irregular. The symptoms and pain may come and go or be influenced by activity, inactivity or even the weather for many.
Just as each individual is unique so is how each individual and their affected joint(s) may react differently to osteoarthritis. Consultation with your doctor is advised to determine the best course of treatment and possibly medication to manage the symptoms and pain.
While there is no cure for OA there are different ways to manage the condition. Over the counter pain relievers are an option as well as physical or occupational therapy for acute flare ups or chronic mobility problems.