Osteoarthritis Causes, Diagnosis and Symptoms

Even though we generally believe of arthritis as one single disorder, it’s actually a complicated problem contains a number of different conditions and characterized by a typical symptom: pain and inflammation of the joints. One of the most typical types of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), otherwise recognized as degenerative arthritis.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis begin to happen during the onset of the breakdown of the cartilage of one or more joints. Ultimately, as the condition progresses, the cartilage becomes totally damaged, resulting to loss. The general affected regions consist of the hands, feet, spine, and large weight bearing joints, like the hips and also the knees.

Osteoarthritis happens in more than twenty million people in the Usa, comprising 30% of the seventy million people in total affected by arthritis and other rheumatoid problems. It’s also much more often observed among women over the age of fifty five.

Osteoarthritis Causes

Osteoarthritis is most primarily related to aging. As the individual grows older, the cartilage material (the connective tissue that offers cushioning within the joints) increases in water content, in turn, making its protein content material to degenerate. And as the cartilage is mainly protein, this alter completely upsets the cartilage makeup.

The cartilage thins as a result of wear and tear. Without the cushioning supplied by the cartilage, continual utilization of the joints over the years leads to friction, which often results in irritation of the joints and ultimately swelling.

As osteoarthritis progresses, the cartilage starts to flake off or forms tiny crevasses. In some instances, the cartilage of an individual with osteoarthritis might even form new bone outgrowths known as “spurs”. Ultimately, when the situation is so advanced, there’s total loss of the cartilage, leading to extreme pain and limitation of joint mobility.


Unlike the other two familiar types of arthritis (lupus and rheumatoid arthritis), osteoarthritis isn’t a systemic disease. That means, it only impacts the joints and not any other organs of the body system.

Probably the most typical symptom of osteoarthritis is, obviously, joint pain, frequently after continual use. The pain is even worse later in the day generally though pain could also happen after a long period of rest. Individuals with osteoarthritis might also discover swelling, warmth, and creaking of the affected joints. Some stiffness and pain may happen as well.

Osteoarthritis may differ from person to person as some may be so debilitated by the illness that they can’t move. Other people may endure only few signs and symptoms despite the degeneration of the joints.

In addition, the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis may be intermittent. That indicates that individuals with osteoarthritis may suffer pain for a number of years and then abruptly enjoy pain free intervals the next. As there’s no treatment yet, the illness may never totally go away.

How to Diagnose Osteoarthritis

X-rays of the joints impacted by osteoarthritis are probably the most correct technique of diagnosing individuals with this type of arthritis. The x-ray will show whether or not there’s loss of joint cartilage, or there is narrowing of the joint space in between adjacent bone. X-rays are also useful to be able to figure out what caused the joint pain – whether it’s only caused by overusage or whether there are truly the beginnings of the disease evident.