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Osteoarthritis Symptoms, Treatments & Prevention Tips

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

As we age, our joints break down, causing the bones to rub against each other. This breakdown can lead to different forms of arthritis and joint-related issues. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease that affects the bones and joints and is the most common form of arthritis. In fact, it affects more than 32 million Americans.

Primary OA affects the thumbs, fingers, spine, hips, and knees. At the same time, secondary OA occurs after an injury or inflammation of the joint. There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, but some treatments can help to relieve the symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about symptoms, prevention tips, and treatment options.

What Are the Risk Factors for Osteoarthritis?

Several risk factors for osteoarthritis include age, obesity, joint injury, and repetitive stress on the joints. Osteoarthritis can also be caused by other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are several critical differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints.

OA typically affects only one joint, while rheumatoid arthritis can affect multiple joints. Osteoarthritis is also more common in adults 50 or older, while rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age.

What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

The symptoms of osteoarthritis vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. The most common symptoms are pain and stiffness in the affected joints, which can worsen with activity.

Additional symptoms include:

  • Problems moving joints
  • Joints feel larger than normal
  • Warmth in joints
  • Tenderness in joints
  • Diminishing muscle bulk
  • Motion is more difficult
  • Grating, cracking, or popping in affected joints

If you have stiffness or swelling that persists for more than a couple of weeks, you should see a doctor. Osteoarthritis is diagnosed based on the history of the illness, a physical examination, and imaging tests. While there is no cure for OA, there are treatments that can help to relieve the symptoms.

How Can I Prevent Osteoarthritis?

Prevention of osteoarthritis is important for reducing the risk of developing the disease. Some tips for preventing osteoarthritis include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Choosing low-impact activities
  • Protecting your joints from repetitive motions or stress
  • Getting regular medical checkups
  • Eating a nutritious diet that supports bone health

Tips to help prevent and manage osteoarthritis


What is the Best Treatment for Osteoarthritis?

There are many different treatment options for osteoarthritis. Some people only need lifestyle changes, such as getting more calcium and vitamin D or moving more frequently.

Others may need medication to help prevent bone loss or treat existing osteoarthritis; in some cases, joint surgery may be necessary. This includes joint replacement surgery, in which the damaged joint is replaced with an artificial one.

Treat Your Joint Pain With National Spine & Pain Centers

If you have OA, it is important to talk to your doctor about the best treatment option for you. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating this condition, and the right treatment will vary from person to person.

Contact National Spine & Pain Centers to schedule an appointment with an affiliated pain specialist for osteoarthritis treatment today.

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