What is Osteoarthritis?

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when protective cartilage that acts as a cushion to the bones begins to deteriorate. The spine is made up of many joints and osteoarthritis gradually develops as you age. It can get to the point where it impacts your day-to-day life significantly.

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is most often the result of the degeneration of cartilage. Cartilage is the protective tissue that acts as a cushion between bones, which come together to form a joint. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber so that bone-on-bone rubbing doesn’t occur, which would result in pain.

As you age, cartilage begins to deteriorate from normal day-to-day wear and tear, especially if you’re frequently using your joints. As cartilage within our joints deteriorates, ligaments and tendons begin to stretch, which often results in inflammation and pain. Cartilage can also develop cracks and become hard or rough.

In severe cases of osteoarthritis, bones can change shape, rub against one another, or become damaged. Although the main cause of osteoarthritis is cartilage degeneration, it can also be the result of an injury.

What are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis symptoms generally occur over time, not suddenly. There are many symptoms linked to osteoarthritis pain with the most common being joint pain.

Other symptoms you may experience are:

  • Aching
  • Bone spurs
  • Grating Sensation
  • Joint clicking during movement
  • Joint instability
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Range of motion limitations
  • Soreness
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Symptoms may be intermittent and can increase after long periods of inactivity or after movement in an affected joint. Symptoms will vary depending on the joint that is affected. For example, if you’re experiencing pain in the hips, the pain can occur in the buttocks, groin, or thigh.

There are non-surgical treatment options that can alleviate osteoarthritis joint pain and allow you to have pain relief. These treatments include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Mobility exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections