What are the Warning Signs of Osteoarthritis?

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There are over 100 types of arthritis, and one of the most common of the bunch is osteoarthritis. This article will get you introduced to some of the early warning signs of the said problem concerning the joints.

Keeping the bones that meet in a joint from rubbing against each other each time you move is cartilage. As the years pass by, cartilage that cushions the joints become damaged. Eventually, it’s no longer capable of preventing the bones from grating against each other. This is what causes the affected joint to become painful and inflamed.

More often than not, osteoarthritis affects the ankles, knees, hips, lower back, wrists, fingers and shoulders — the ones that you likely use all the time. However, just about any other joint in the body can be affected by osteoarthritis, too.

Although it’s true that osteoarthritis is common in the elderly, it can also be seen in younger people. For instance, an injury to your joint can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis sooner or later.

Let’s now take a quick look at some of the early warning signs of osteoarthritis:

Pain

One of the earliest telltale signs that you are about to live a life with osteoarthritis is pain. The kind of pain that is usually associated with the said degenerative disease of the joint is one that is aggravated every single time you engage in physical activities and then relieved when you take a break.

It’s not unlikely for you to encounter sharp pain each time you move the affected joint in a certain way. For instance, the early presence of osteoarthritis in your fingers may make its presence known when you open a jar.

Swelling

Usually, pain brought about by osteoarthritis is accompanied by swelling. In some instances you may feel that the joint suspected of being affected by osteoarthritis is swollen only when you press on it. At times it may be warm to your touch. However, it’s possible for the concerned joint to actually look swollen.

According to health authorities, visible swelling of the joint is commonly observed in advanced stages of osteoarthritis. So if there’s a joint of yours that is evidently swollen, then the problem has already progressed.

Stiffness

It’s perfectly normal for some joints of yours to feel kind of stiff from time to time, such as upon waking up in the morning or sitting in front of your computer for hours on end. However, at times stiffness is also a warning sign of osteoarthritis. This is especially true if the joint is painful and swollen at times.

Worry not because it doesn’t mean that the joint with osteoarthritis will remain stiff for good — warming up the joint by means of physical activities or gentle exercises can help get rid of the stiffness.

Crepitus

Each time you move the joint that you suspect is suffering from early osteoarthritis do you feel a rattling, crackling or clicking sound? It’s called crepitus, and it is in fact a symptom of osteoarthritis. Such happens when the bones of a joint rub against one another as a result of cartilage wear and tear.

However, there’s no need for you to pick up a strange sound each time you move if you have crepitus — sometimes you may just feel your bones grating against each other.

A Pattern

You may notice that pain and swelling associated with osteoarthritis tend to show up only at certain times of the day, such as after climbing the stairs or partaking in a game of badminton. The affected joint may feel stiff every single morning or after spending some time at your office desk.

Eventually, the symptoms of osteoarthritis may bug you even while you are at rest. This is a sign that the degenerative disease of the joint has already progressed, experts say.

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