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January 21, 2020 3 min read

Table of Contents

  • Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
  • Treatment of Osteoarthritis
  • Self-Care and Coping Strategies with Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is an age-related joint disorder and the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of elderly worldwide. So how do you grow old with osteoarthritis? It is often described as a chronic degenerative disease that is often associated with aging. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of our bones wears down over time.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The symptoms of osteoarthritis develop progressively and worsen over time. The symptoms that may suggest osteoarthritis include:

  • Gradual onset of deep, aching pain that occurs with movement, after prolonged activity or during rest
  • Morning joint stiffness or stiffness with inactivity
  • Joint tenderness
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Crepitus or the clicking or grating sensation that occurs with joint movement
  • Swelling around a joint due to soft tissue inflammation
  • Bony enlargements or spurs around the joints
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint instability

The following joints are the most affected. Here include additional symptoms related to the specific area:

  • Hips: Pain in the inner thigh, buttocks, and sometimes on the inside of the knee or thigh.
  • Crepitus, an audible grating or scraping with the knee movements.
More on Knee Osteoarthritis
  • Bony overgrowths (spurs) at the edge of joints can cause fingers to become swollen, tender, and red.

Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Although the damage to the joints due to osteoarthritis can not be reversed, the symptoms can be effectively managed with appropriate exercise, remaining active, maintaining a healthy weight, and some treatment protocol. The goal is to alleviate pain and maintain joint function.

  • Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy for pain management and maintenance of joint integrity through various modalities and exercises
  • Joint surgery to improve joint function or replace damaged joints to restore mobility and relieve pain

Self-Care and Coping Strategies with Osteoarthritis

The following tips can help minimize the symptoms of osteoarthritis:

  • Bring Your Weight Down: Excess weight worsens OA. Combine healthy eating with regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Weighing more than what’s healthy puts extra stress on the hips, knees, feet, and back. Weight loss alleviates pain and retards down joint damage.
  • Control Your Blood Sugar: Many people have diabetes and OA. Diabetes causes joint inflammation, which weakens the cartilage. High glucose levels make the joint cartilage becomes stiffer and more likely to break down.
  • Maintain Range of Motion: Movement supplies the joints with nutrition. Make sure that even with osteoarthritis, movement through the allowable range or within the pain limits is advisable. Gentle exercises, such as stretching and daily walks, maintain muscular strength and joint integrity.
  • Protect Your Joints: Always practice warm‑up and cool‑down exercises when engaging in any strenuous physical activities. If you play sports, use appropriate protective gear. Practice proper body mechanics by using your largest and strongest joints for lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying.
  • Choose a Healthy Lifestyle: Nothing could go wrong when you eat healthily and live healthily. Always allow your body to rest by getting enough good sleep.

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