What is osteoarthritis?

It is one of the common types of arthritis. Many are affected by this most common arthritis condition. When the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones wears down, it results in osteoarthritis. The disorder may damage any joint in the body. Most commonly, it affects the joints in the knees, spine, hips and hands. Like all other arthritis conditions, osteoarthritis also has no cure. The condition and symptoms can be improved with lifestyle management and other treatments.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

The condition develops symptoms very slowly and it gets worse over time. Some of the common signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Loss of flexibility

  • Stiffness of the joint

  • Pain

  • Bone spurs

  • Grating sensation

If you experience pain and stiffness to the joint for more than a few weeks, you should seek the help of a doctor.

How is osteoarthritis diagnosed?

The doctor will first have detailed physical examination and recommend certain imaging and lab tests:

  • X-rays

  • MRI

  • Blood test

  • Joint fluid analysis

What are the treatment options for osteoarthritis?

Though the condition can’t be cured, the symptoms and other discomforts can be improved with certain medications and other treatment options. Some of them include:

  • Medications like NSAIDs and Acetaminophen

  • Therapies- Physical therapy and occupational therapy

  • Shoe inserts or braces

If the conservative treatment options didn’t help to improve the symptoms, the doctor may suggest surgical treatments and other options for the patient:

  • Lubrication injections

  • Joint replacement

  • Cortisone shots

  • Realigning bones