Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common chronic joint disorder that is characterized by degeneration of the cartilage within a joint, resulting in pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving the affected joint. It commonly affects the hips, knees, hands, and spine. OA can involve any joint in your body, but is most common in older adults.

Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones within the joint wears down over time, causing bones to rub against each other. This causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness, as well as a reduced range of motion in the joint. Other symptoms of OA include:

  • Swelling
  • Joint pain and tenderness
  • Difficulty bending and straightening the joint
  • Grating or cracking sensation when moving the joint

Over time, the joint can become severely damaged and arthritic changes can be seen on X-ray, such as narrowing of the space between the bones, bone spurs, and changes in the bone.

OA is a progressive disease, meaning that symptoms will worsen over time if the condition is left untreated. Treatments for OA usually begin with medications and lifestyle changes such as losing weight, regular exercise, and physical therapy. If these measures fail to provide relief, other treatments such as injections, acupuncture or surgical intervention may be necessary.

With proper management, individuals with Osteoarthritis can reduce symptoms and improve joint function. Early diagnosis and treatment are important for achieving the best possible outcome.