Osteoarthritis : Causes - Symptoms- Diagnosis -Treatment


 What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down over time.

Osteoarthritis can damage any joint, but it most commonly affects joints in the hands, knees, hips, and spine.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis symptoms can usually be managed, although joint damage cannot be reversed. Maintaining an active lifestyle, eating a healthy diet, and receiving certain treatments may slow the progression of the disease and help improve pain and joint function.

  1. Musculoskeletal system
    1. Human skeleton

    2. Joints

    3. Ligaments

    4. Muscular system

    5. Tendons

Medical terms

  • Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the joint cartilage that cushions the ends of bones wears away. It is a common condition, and it can affect any joint in the body. The most commonly affected joints are the knees, hips, hands, and spine. Osteoarthritis affects more than one in ten adults over the age of 25, and is one of the most common causes of disability in individuals over the age of 45.

  • Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative joint disease. Over time, the tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint, known as cartilage, becomes roughened and worn down, resulting in pain and limited mobility. The condition can affect any joint in the body, but is most common in the hips, knees, hands, and spine. Osteoarthritis can cause stiffness, swelling, and creaking of the joints and can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication.

There are  principal kinds of osteoarthritis:

  • Primary: Most not unusual, generalized, on the whole affects the palms, thumbs, spine, hips, knees, and the high-quality (massive) ft.

  • Secondary: Occurs with a pre-current joint abnormality, consisting of injury or trauma, which includes repetitive or sports-associated; inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid, psoriatic, or gout; infectious arthritis; genetic joint disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos (also known as hypermobility or "double-jointed; congenital joint disorders; or metabolic joint issues.

Symptoms Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis symptoms can develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis may include:

  • Pain.Joints that are affected might hurt during or after movement.

  • Stiffness.The stiffness might be most noticeable when you wake up or after being inactive.

  • Tenderness.When you apply light pressure to your joint, it might feel tender.

  • Loss of flexibility.Your joint might not be able to move through its full range of motion.

  • Grating sensation.When you use the joint, you might feel a scraping sensation and you might hear popping or cracking noises.

  • Bone spurs.These lumps that feel like hard bone can form around the joint that is being affected.

  • Swelling.This might be caused by inflammation around the joint.

When to see a doctor

If you have pain or stiffness in your joints that doesn't go away, see a doctor.

Causes Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones gradually wears down. This makes it difficult to move joints without causing pain.

If the cartilage on the end of a bone wears down completely, bones will rub against each other.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that results from the breakdown of cartilage. It also affects the entire joint, causing changes in the bone and deterioration of connective tissue that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. Joint inflammation occurs when the joint lining becomes inflamed.

Risk factors Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can be increased by factors such as:

  • Older age.As we age, our risk of developing osteoarthritis increases.

  • Sex.Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it's not clear why.

  • Obesity.Being overweight is one of the ways that osteoarthritis develops. It increases stress on your joints because it weighs them down. In addition, fat tissue produces proteins that can cause inflammation and damage to your joints.

  • Joint injuries.Injuries, such as those from playing sports or from an accident, can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis. Even injuries that occurred many years ago may still increase your risk.

  • Repeated stress on the joint.If you have a job or sport that stresses your joints often, they may eventually develop osteoarthritis.

  • Genetics.Some people are more likely to develop osteoarthritis.

  • Bone deformities.Some people are born with joints that do not function properly or cartilage that is not healthy.

  • Certain metabolic diseases.Diabetes and hemochromatosis are conditions that involve too much iron.

Complications Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a disease that gets worse over time and can lead to chronic pain. Joint pain and stiffness can become so severe that daily tasks become difficult.

People with osteoarthritis often experience pain and disability, which can lead to depression and sleep disturbances.

Is osteoarthritis a serious condition?

  • Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is a serious medical condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints due to wear-and-tear, age, or injury. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling at the affected joint. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body but is most common in the knees and hips.

  • Osteoarthritis is a serious condition and can cause pain, loss of mobility, and even disability. It is the most common type of arthritis, affecting about 30 million Americans, including over half of people over 65 years old. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but commonly affects weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees and spine. The disease results from the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, which eventually leads to joint pain and stiffness.

Diagnosis Osteoarthritis

During the physical exam, your doctor will check your joint for tenderness, swelling, redness, and flexibility.

Imaging tests

To take pictures of the affected joint, your doctor might recommend:

  • X-rays.Cartilage doesn't show up on X-rays, but if there is cartilage loss, you can see that by seeing a narrowing of the space between the bones in your joint. An X-ray can also show bone spurs around the joint.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).An MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create detailed images of bones and soft tissues. An MRI is not commonly needed to diagnose arthritis, but it can provide more information in complex cases.

Lab tests

Blood and joint fluid can help us to make a diagnosis.

  • Blood tests.There is no specific blood test that can determine if someone has osteoarthritis, but various tests can help rule out other causes of joint pain.

  • Joint fluid analysis.Your doctor might use a needle to draw fluid from an affected joint. This fluid is then tested for inflammation and to determine which type of pain you are experiencing -- gout or an infection.

Treatment Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, but treatments can reduce pain and help you move more easily.


Some medications that can help relieve osteoarthritis symptoms primarily involve reducing pain. These medications include:

  • Acetaminophen.Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) has been shown to help some people with osteoarthritis who experience mild to moderate pain. Taking more acetaminophen than the recommended dose can cause liver damage.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are medications that help to reduce pain and inflammation.Osteoarthritis pain can usually be relieved by taking over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil Motrin IB others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) in the recommended doses. Stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription.
    NSAIDs can cause stomach upset, cardiovascular problems, bleeding problems, and liver and kidney damage. NSAIDs can be applied topically to the skin, which may have fewer side effects and may provide relief just as well as NSAIDs taken by mouth.

  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta).This medication is also approved to treat chronic pain, including osteoarthritis pain.


  • Physical therapy.A physical therapist can help you strengthen the muscles around your joint, increase your flexibility, and reduce pain. You can also do gentle exercises on your own, such as swimming or walking.

  • Occupational therapy. An occupational therapist can help you find ways to do everyday tasks without putting extra stress on your joints. For example, a toothbrush with a large grip could make brushing your teeth easier if you have arthritis in your hands. A bench in your shower could help reduce the amount of water that is required to wash yourself. Knee osteoarthritis pain is intense when you stand.

  • TENS is a type of electrical stimulation that can be used to treat pain.This machine uses a low-voltage electrical current to relieve pain. It can provide short-term relief for some people with arthritis in their knees and hips.

Surgical and other procedures

If conservative treatment doesn't work, you might want to consider more aggressive treatments such as:

  • Cortisone injections. If you experience pain in a joint, an injection of a corticosteroid might relieve it for a few weeks. Your doctor numbs the area around the joint and then places a needle into the space within the joint. The number of injections you can receive each year is generally limited to three or four. Medicine should be taken four times per day because it can worsen joint damage over time.

  • Lubrication injections.Some people might get relief from pain by getting injections of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is similar to a component found in joint fluid. However, some research suggests that injections with hyaluronic acid offer no more relief than a placebo.

  • Realigning bones.If osteoarthritis has caused more damage on one side of your knee than the other, an operation called an osteotomy might be helpful. In an osteotomy, a surgeon cuts across the bone either above or below the knee and then removes or adds a wedge of bone. This can shift your body weight away from the part of your knee that is worn out.

  • Joint replacement.In joint replacement surgery, your surgeon removes your damaged joint surfaces and replaces them with plastic and metal parts. Surgical risks include infections and blood clots. Artificial joints can become worn out or come loose, and may eventually need to be replaced.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Be sure to learn as much as you can about your condition and how to best manage it. For example, exercising and losing weight can help reduce joint pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis.

  • Exercise.Regular exercise that does not cause too much impact can help increase your endurance and help strengthen the muscles around your joints, making your joints more stable. Try walking, bicycling, or water aerobics. If you experience new joint pain, stop immediately.
    If you experience new pain that lasts for hours after exercising, it is likely that you have overexerted yourself and should take a day or two to rest and try again at a lower level of intensity.

  • Lose weight.Losing weight will relieve some stress on your joints, such as your knees and hips, since extra weight can increase this pressure. Talk to a dietitian to find out healthy ways to lose weight.

Other things to try include:

  • Movement therapies.Tai chi and yoga involve gentle exercises and stretches that are combined with deep breathing. Many people use these therapies to reduce stress in their lives, and research suggests that tai chi and yoga might reduce osteoarthritis pain and improve movement.
    Be sure to choose a gentle yoga form and to check with your instructor to see which joints are affected. Do not do stretches or movements that cause pain in your joints.

  • Heat and cold.Heat and cold can reduce pain and swelling in your joint. Heat, in particular, can help muscles relax and reduce pain. Cold can reduce muscle aches after exercise and decrease muscle spasms.

  • Capsaicin.Topical capsaicin extract applied to an arthritic joint might help. You might have to apply it several times a day for several weeks before you see a benefit. Some people cannot tolerate the irritation. After applying capsaicin cream, wash your hands well.

  • Braces or shoe inserts.Shoe inserts or other devices can help reduce pain when you stand or walk. These devices can support your joint and reduce the pressure on it.

  • Assistive devices.Joint aids can help relieve stress on your joints. A cane or walker can take some of the weight off your knee or hip while you are walking. You should hold the cane in the hand opposite the limb that hurts.
    If you have arthritis in your fingers, you may find tools that make working in the kitchen easier. Check catalogs, medical supply stores, or ask your doctor about assistive devices.

Alternative medicine

Osteoarthritis treatments that have shown promising results include:

  • Acupuncture.Some studies suggest that acupuncture can help relieve pain and improve function in people who have knee osteoarthritis. During acupuncture, very thin needles are inserted into your skin at specific points on your body.

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin. There is some evidence that these nutritional supplements may be beneficial for people with osteoarthritis, but most research indicates that they work no better than a placebo. Some people may experience side effects when taking glucosamine and chondroitin, depending on their medications. There may be problems.

  • Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables.This nutritional supplement, made of avocado and soybean oils, is often used to treat knee and hip osteoarthritis. It helps to reduce inflammation and has been shown to slow or prevent joint damage.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids.Fish and fish oil supplements high in omega-3 fatty acids might help relieve pain and improve function.

Talk to your doctor about the supplements you are considering.

Coping and support

If you are able to cope well with the pain and disability caused by osteoarthritis, this will often have a less significant impact on your life. talk to your doctor if you're feeling frustrated because he or she may have ideas to help you cope or refer you to someone who can. Please help.

Preparing for your appointment

If you have joint pain, your doctor might refer you to a doctor who specializes in joint disorders (a rheumatologist) or orthopedic surgery.

What you can do

Make a list that includes:

  • We would like to know more about your symptoms and when they started.

  • You can find out information about your family's medical problems on this website.

  • All the prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements that you take and the amount of each one will be listed on your prescription.

  • Questions to ask the doctor

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor might ask some of the following questions: -What is the nature of your symptoms? -Do you have any other medical conditions? -What are your general health history and physical exams like? -Have you been tested for any infections recently? -Do you have a history of allergies? -Do you take any medications, supplements, or other treatments routinely?

  • Does the pain feel continuous or does it come and go?

  • What can I do to make the pain go away?

  • Have you ever injured this joint?

General summary

  1. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the connective tissue and cartilage in the joints. The disease is the most common form of arthritis, accounting for nearly all cases of arthritis related disability. It typically affects more people as they age, with many having the condition in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. Osteoarthritis can also develop in younger people, particularly those with a history of joint injury or repetitive stress on the joints.

  2. Osteoarthritis is a common condition that results from the breakdown of the cartilage in the joints. It affects people of all ages, but is more common in older adults and those with a family history of the disease. Symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion. The condition can also cause changes in the shape of the joint, as well as bone pain, tenderness and deformity.

  3. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects millions of people around the world. It is a degenerative joint disorder that occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones of a joint wears away. With time, the joints become inflamed and painful, leading to a gradual loss of motion and mobility. Osteoarthritis can be managed with lifestyle changes, medications, and physical therapy.

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