If you feel pain, discomfort, and swelling in your hands, hips, or knees, then you may be suffering from osteoarthritis. Commonly known as the “wear and tear” disease, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis.
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
Over 32 million adults in the United States have osteoarthritis (OA). Even though OA can affect people of any age or gender, it is typically found in women over the age of 50, and the chance of having OA increases as we get older.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Pain and swelling in the joints
- Decreased range of motion and flexibility
- Stiffness in the morning or after a period of inactivity
- Bone spurs
- A grating sensation due to the deterioration of cartilage
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Several different factors can contribute to the development of OA. The leading cause of osteoarthritis is the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones breaking down over time. This can happen as a result of normal wear and tear.
However, early onset of OA may be due to an injury or misaligned joints where the joint may not move as smoothly as it should, leading to wear and tear on the cartilage.
Additionally, OA is more common in people who are overweight or obese because excess weight puts additional strain on the joints. Finally, osteoarthritis is more likely to develop if there is a family history of the condition.
Can You Prevent Osteoarthritis?
You may not be able to prevent osteoarthritis completely, but some lifestyle changes can minimize the risk or slow the progression of the disease, such as:
- Maintain a healthy weight because excess weight puts extra strain on your joints.
- Do some low-impact exercise daily because exercise strengthens the muscles around your joints, which can help to protect them.
- Prevent injury to your joints, or if you do sustain an injury, seek medical treatment right away.
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 and vitamin D
If you have a family history of the condition, let your doctor know. You may be able to take measures to prevent or delay its onset.
Where Can You Get Treatment for Osteoarthritis?
There are several treatment options if you have osteoarthritis. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication may help you find pain relief. Some people also find that steroid shots help to bring relief temporarily. In severe cases of OA, surgery might be the best option.
Contact our team at Advanced Rheumatology of Houston if you have painful swollen joints from osteoarthritis. We have over 10 years of experience treating chronic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, and osteoarthritis. We use cutting-edge treatments to help our patients find relief from debilitating pain.
Call us today at (281) 766-7886 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We will find the treatment that is best for you and work with you so you can get back out and enjoy a life free from pain.