Osteoarthritis : Joint Disorder : Symptoms

Definition

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone.

Osteoarthritis is one of the commonest diseases affecting the joints and the symptoms usually occur as we age. The weight bearing joints like the hips and knees are affected in most of the cases. Less commonly, the non-weight bearing joints like the shoulder, elbow, finger and ankle may get affected.

Although osteoarthritis is more common in the elderly, it can also be seen in young people due to an abnormal wear and tear in joint structures following fracture, repeated dislocation of the joint, infections, obesity or hyperthyroidism (over secretion of thyroxin hormone from the thyroid gland).

Symptoms

Symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion. However, some people might not have symptoms.

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  1. Deep aching joint pain that gets worse after exercise or putting weight on it, and is relieved by rest
  2. Pain that is worse when you start activities after a period of no activity
  3. Over time, pain is present even when you are at rest
  4. Grating of the joint with motion
  5. Increase in pain during humid or moist weather
  6. Joint swelling
  7. Limited movement
  8. Muscle weakness around arthritic joints

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