According to the Arthritis Foundation, as many as 91 million adults and 300,000 children in the United States may suffer from arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that inflames and breaks down joint cartilage, and about 27 million people currently live with it. The back, knees, hands, and hips are the most likely places to receive a diagnosis. Here is more on osteoarthritis causes, symptoms, and treatment as well as how Maryland Pain and Wellness will help with it.

Osteoarthritis Causes

For many years, medical professionals believed osteoarthritis was caused by joint wear-and-tear, whereas today it is considered a degenerative disease caused by several contributing factors.

  • Genetic Traits: Inherited traits can result in minor bone defects. Collagen protein defects during production are also thought to cause OA issues.  FAAH genes also contribute to pain sensitivity, which is more prominent in an OA knee diagnosis.
  • Injury: Whether from a sports or work injury or from an accident, surgery, ligament harm, or fractures affect the joints and raise the likelihood of cartilage deterioration.
  • Obesity: Overweight people often suffer from OA cartilage loss in the knees and hips. Evidence suggests that fat tissue produces cytokines and causes this damage.
  • Joint Or Bone Disorders: Issues like arthritis, metabolic ailments, or joint and bone disorders will cause the body to increase the production of growth hormones.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that progresses in stages. While there is no cure, prevention and treatment allow people with OA to control its advancement and the symptoms long-term. As symptoms progress, it will affect one’s quality of life and long-term disability, which is why early intervention is vital to health longevity. Symptoms include the following:

  • Pain
  • Mobility
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Inflammation
  • Joint Stiffness
  • Cartilage Damage
  • Loss Of Muscle Mass
  • Bone Growth Malformation
  • Warmer Skin Around Joint Area
  • A Crackling Or Grinding Sound

Stages And Osteoarthritis Treatment

There are three primary stages of osteoarthritis. Some are so minor you most likely will not even notice them until other more noticeable symptoms present themselves as the disease progresses.

         Beginning Stage:

In the beginning OA stage, the cartilage begins to thin between the bone and joints. There will be an awareness of mild pain or stiffness present, but it usually works itself out after a half hour. OA prevention, like weight loss, treatment, or exercise, will reduce stressors.

            Moderate Stage:

As OA progresses, the pain will become more constant and in higher consistency because of bone spurs.  As mobility becomes limited, the muscle mass also weakens considerably. Treatment includes medicine like NSAIDs to reduce inflammation and swelling of joints. An exercise routine, physical therapy, or aquatic therapy will also be practical activities.

            Late Stage:

In the late OA stage, the structural integrity of the joints become affected because the fluids that lubricate them are no longer healthy and have become inflamed. The joints then swell and stiffen, which will lead to higher degrees of pain that will require stronger forms of medication. Other types of OA treatment include arthrodesis, osteotomy, and arthroplasty that improves quality of life, joint functioning, and pain relief significantly. 

Maryland Pain and Wellness has leading MA specialists and technology to identify and treat the cause of your osteoarthritis. We also take a multidisciplinary approach to your overall treatment.

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