What you need to know about osteoarthritis

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

You know you have a knee injury when you experience pain and stiffness in your joints, which can make it difficult to move the affected joints and perform certain activities.

The symptoms may come and go in episodes, which relate to factors such as your activity levels and even the weather. In more severe cases, the symptoms can be continuous.

Other symptoms you or your doctor may notice include:

  • joint tenderness
  • increased pain and stiffness when you have not moved your joints in a while
  • joints appearing slightly larger or more ‘knobbly’ than usual
  • a grating or crackling sound or sensation in your joints
  • limited range of movement in your joints
  • weakness and muscle wasting (loss of muscle bulk)

Risk Factors 

Osteoarthritis was long believed to be caused by the wearing down of joints over time. But scientists now see it as a disease of the joint. 

Here are some things that may contribute to OA: 

  • Age. The risk of developing OA increases as bones, muscles and joints also age. 
  • Joint injury. A break or tear can lead to OA after years.
  • Overuse. Using the same joints over and over in a job or sport can result in OA.
  • Obesity. Extra weight puts more stress on a joint and fat cells promote inflammation.
  • Weak muscles. Joints can get out of the right position when there’s not enough support.
  • Genes. People with family members who have OA are more likely to develop OA.
  • Gender: Women are more likely to develop OA than men.

 

Osteoarthritis Gets Worse With:

  • Lyme Disease, an inflammatory disease caused by a tick bite could potentially exacerbate osteoarthritis pain. 
  • Lack of Sleep and Increased Pain Sensitivity.
  • Weak Muscles. 
  • Feelings of Helplessness. 
  • Pain From Compensation. 
  • Dehydration.

 

The 4 stages of Knee Osteoarthritis

Stage 1 – OA patients will develop very minor wear & tear and bone spur growths at the end of the knee joints. However, at this stage, it is unlikely you will feel pain or discomfort.

Stage 2–  The space between the bones appears normal with more bone growth spur. There exists stiffness and discomfort after workouts or in the mornings.

Stage 3– Stage 3 is referred to as “moderate”. Here there is obvious erosion to the cartilage surface between bones. Fibrillation narrows the gap between the bones. Pain occurs in walking, running, squatting, extending, or kneeling due to obvious inflammation.

Stage 4-  In stage 4 the joint space between the bones is considerably reduced, causing the cartilage to wear off, leaving the joint stiff. This leads to difficulty in performing daily activities.

 

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