Life can wear you down sometimes. When it comes to our joints, this can be literal wearing down.
Osteoarthritis, commonly called “wear and tear arthritis,” isn’t due to our immune system mistakenly attacking our joints, as in rheumatoid arthritis. It’s simply due to life. Over the decades, we’ve all done a lot of things to place a lot of impact and stress on our joints. And now it’s showing in degraded cartilage and joint pain.
At TruWell Health, Dr. Lora Brown is a double-board certified physician who specializes in helping patients get past the pain of osteoarthritis.
Who develops osteoarthritis?
Most people over 60 have some degree of osteoarthritis, although they may simply consider it to be a “stiff hip or knee.” It is more common in women than men. Younger people can get osteoarthritis, but it’s usually a result of a joint injury (say from football or other sports) or repetitive stress from overuse (dancers and runners).
- One in two adults will develop symptoms of knee osteoarthritis during their lives.
- One in four adults will develop symptoms of hip osteoarthritis by age 85.
- One in 12 people 60 and over has osteoarthritis in his or her hands.
How would I know if I have osteoarthritis?
Symptoms vary depending on the joint in question and the person, but the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and stiffness, particularly first thing in the morning or after resting. Some people are seriously debilitated, while others may have few symptoms despite a serious degradation of cartilage in the joint. Osteoarthritis in the knees will begin with a slight limp that worsens as the years pass. Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for knee replacement.
These are the common symptoms of osteoarthritis:
- Pain after activity involving the joint, particularly intensive use
- Stiffness in the joint after periods of inactivity
- Clicking or cracking sounds when a joint bends
- Joint aching and soreness, especially with certain movements
- Mild swelling around a joint
- In the hips, pain may radiate into the groin, buttocks, or the inside of the thigh
- In the knees, a scraping sensation may accompany movement
- In the fingers, bone spurs may make the fingers swollen, tender, and red.
If these issues sound like the pain you’re dealing with, give Dr. Brown a call at TruWell Health, (727) 440-5410. She can help.