Osteoarthritis, often known simply as OA, is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It’s a progressive condition affecting millions across the globe and causing notable discomfort and disability. For Dr Lauren Papa, understanding the primary symptoms can lead to quicker diagnosis, treatment, and appropriate strategies of management.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
First of all, osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. This mainly affects the hands, knees, hips, and spine. Plagued by this joint condition, many people find their mobility and quality of life hampered.
Primary Suspected Osteoarthritis Symptoms
Discomfort or pain in any joint, commonly in the hands, knees, or hips, can be the first sign of OA. It usually follows physical activities like walking, climbing stairs, or even minor tasks. Second, morning stiffness is a prominent symptom of OA. It’s usually at its worst upon waking up and improves within 30 minutes of starting an activity.
Aside from that, as OA progresses, you may lose elasticity and experience limitations on joint mobility, making some motions difficult. Inflammation around the affected joint caused by the breakdown of cartilage can also result in visible swelling.
If your joint feels sensitive or tender when you apply light pressure to it, you might be dealing with OA. There are also bone spurs, which feel like hard lumps, that form around the affected joint. Lastly, you may experience a grating sensation when using the affected joint. An unusual noise (crepitus) is also common when the joint moves.
When To Seek Medical Attention For Osteoarthritis
If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort from osteoarthritis, as well as stiffness or other joint-related symptoms, Dr Lauren Papa hindering your daily functioning, it’s recommended to seek immediate care from a health professional. Early diagnosis of OA can offer effective treatment plans to manage pain and retain mobility for a longer period.
For that matter, having an understanding of these symptoms of osteoarthritis drives early detection of osteoarthritis and, consequently, timely medical intervention. You must always listen to your body and advocate for your joint health.