Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common chronic joint conditions, affecting nearly 30 million adults in the United States. The cartilage in joints breaks down, causing bones in that joint to rub together and leading to severe pain and lack of mobility. Age is one of the primary causes, and as we age, more stress goes onto the joints, putting us at even higher risk. Other significant risk factors include torn cartilage, dislocated joints, and prior ligament injuries. Genetics also play a role in risk factors for OA.
Since many people experience symptoms over time, it may be hard to tell if you are developing it or not. OA is considered progressive and contains five stages. The first (stage zero) is just a standard joint but can progress to stage 4, which is deemed to be severe.
If you have been experiencing these symptoms, it may be time to talk to your primary care services provider.
Swelling and inflammation in the joints at a high level could be an indicator of OA. It is common for broken-off cartilage to float in the fluid that causes the swelling (synovial fluid), attributing the severe pain felt with OA. In addition, an increased amount of pain in the joints, especially as the day progresses, could be an indicator.
If you notice a decrease in the range of motion of your joints, it may be time to see NeighborMD, MSO services. A lack of range of potion paired with joint instability may make falls and injuries more common.
Damage caused by OA cannot be reversed, but a treatment plan discussed with your doctor can help. Visit us online to make an appointment at a NeighborMD near you.