According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, osteoarthritis (OA) affects more than 25 million men and women over the age of 25 in the United States. That is nearly 14 percent of all adults. OA is even more common in the elderly. More than one-third of adults over the age of 65 suffer from OA. OA is known by many names – degenerative joint disease, degenerative arthritis, wear-and-tear arthritis; whatever you call it’s a common painful condition that can develop slowly and worsen over time.
OA is the most common chronic condition of the joints. It occurs when the cartilage or cushion between joints breaks down leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects the hands, knees, hips, or spine.
Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage absorbs the shock of movement, but when you lose cartilage, your bones rub together. Over time, this rubbing can permanently damage the joint.
Signs and symptoms of OA include:
- Loss of flexibility
- Grating sensation
- Bone spurs
Risk factors for osteoarthritis include:
- Being overweight
- Getting older
To diagnose OA doctors consider medical history and perform a physical examination. These may be followed by laboratory tests, X-rays, and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. No single test can diagnose osteoarthritis.
If you have joint pain or stiffness that lasts for more than a few weeks, make an appointment with Dr. Wesley Johnson. His experience and expertise can help make the right diagnosis and choose the correct treatment for your individual case.
Read more about osteoarthritis online at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/27871.php