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Osteoarthritis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Osteoarthritis is a medical condition which occurs when a protective cartilage which is placed at the ends of your bones wears down due to wear and tear. It usually affects the joints of your spine, hips, knees and hands. Osteoarthritis is considered the most common form of arthritis. Being active and leading a healthy lifestyle can slow down the development of this disease. Certain medications can also improve the joint function and improve pain.

What causes Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis usually occurs when the cartilage (a slippery and firm tissue that allows frictionless joint motion) which cushions the bones inside your joints start deteriorating. The surface beneath the cartilage starts becoming rough. If the cartilage is damaged completely, the bones can be rubbing together without a protective barrier in between. This can cause immense pain and discomfort.

Risk factors which can make you susceptible in developing Osteoarthritis:

  • Old age- When you start aging, your bones tend to grow weaker. This can cause Osteoarthritis.
  • Sex- Studies state that women are more prone in developing Osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity- Extra body weight can add more pressure and stress on the joints of your body, which can make the cartilage on your knees, hips and joints prone to more friction. Fat tissues also produce proteins which can cause chronic inflammation on your joints leading to Osteoarthritis.
  • Joint injuries- Injuries which occur while playing sports or from a fatal accident can increase your chances of developing Osteoarthritis. Injuries that have occurred several years ago can also make you develop Osteoarthritis in the future.
  • Some occupations- Certain jobs include tasks which put continuous stress on a particular joint. This region can easily get affected by Osteoarthritis.
  • Genetics- If one or both parents have Osteoarthritis, the child is also prone in developing Osteoarthritis.
  • Bone deformities- People who are born with a defective cartilage or malformed joint are more susceptible in developing Osteoarthritis.


Osteoarthritis can be diagnosed by an orthopedic specialist. Usually tests like Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-rays are performed. These tests confirm the cartilage loss and bone spurs surrounding the affected joint. Sometimes, lab tests like blood test and Joint fluid analysis is carried out to analyze joint or blood fluid levels in your bone. These tests also confirm whether or not you have Osteoarthritis. Sometimes symptoms of Osteoarthritis can be similar to joint infection, gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

Can't be cured, but treatment helps Usually self diagnosable Lab test required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Joint pain in the hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips Loss of flexibility. Grating sensation in the affected bones.

Popular Health Tips

Arthritis: Know The Symptoms Behind It!

Dr. Tariq Tramboo 90% (38 ratings)
Pain Management, MD - Pain Medicine & Anesthesiology
Pain Management Specialist, Srinagar
Arthritis: Know The Symptoms Behind It!
One of the most common ailments the elderly suffer from is arthritis. However, arthritis can affect people of all ages. It is a rheumatic disease as in, it affects joints and bones. It can be of many types and the term covers a number of inflammatory and non-inflammatory joint diseases. Some of the most well-known types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, bone spurs, gout, and osteoarthritis. The causes of arthritis have not been defined but there are a number of factors that increase a person's chances of getting it. Foremost amongst these is increasing age and excess weight. Arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and lupus are said to be hereditary and linked to certain genes. Sometimes, injuries can also cause arthritic conditions. Misuse of steroids can also result in arthritis. Here is a look at the most common symptoms of the disease :- Pain around the joints is the most well-known symptom of arthritis. Along with pain, you may also notice swollen or stiff joints. Increased body temperature around the affected joints and redness in the area is also a symptom of arthritis. These symptoms range from mild to severe, and can be constant or may come and go. Everybody suffers from occasional joint pains but if any of the above symptoms persist for a long duration, it is best to consult a doctor. The sooner you seek treatment, the easier it becomes to deal with arthritis. If left untreated for too long, arthritis can result in permanent joint damage. While there is no single cure for arthritis, it can be effectively controlled if treated in time. Since the type and severity of arthritis differ from person to person, treatment for the same must also be tailored to the needs of the individual. Drugs for arthritis can be categorized as those that treat symptoms such as pain and stiffness, and those that suppress inflammatory conditions. In some cases, surgery may be advisable. Physical therapy and regular exercise are very important when dealing with arthritis. It is equally important to eat a healthy, nutritious and well-balanced diet. If you are overweight, try and lose the excess kilos. You must also look after your joints to ensure that there is no further degradation of bone or muscle tissue. Avoid staying in one position for a long time, and try and maintain a good posture. These simple techniques can be very effective when dealing with all types of arthritis.
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Osteoarthritis (OA)

Bnchy Wellness Medispa 91% (24 ratings)
Ayurveda, Delhi
OA is a common type of arthritis, typically with onset during middle or old age that is characterized by progressive degenerative changes in the cartilage of one or more joint. Types of OA Idiopathic Osteoarthritis: This type of OA has no identifiable cause. Secondary OA: Secondary OA is caused by an underlying condition such as joint injury, other bone and joints medical condition. Risk factors Age Gender Obesity Occupation Sports Symptoms Pain Stiffness Swelling Crackling and grating sensation (Crepity) Osteophytes (Bony outgrowths) Diagnosis Imaging test: X-Rays Physiotherapy Treatment Rest Weight loss Assistive devices Orthoses Heat and Cold therapy Physical Therapy and exercise program (TENS) Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation UST (Ultrasonic Therapy) IFT (Interferential Therapy) PWB (Paraffin Wax Bath) Arthritis Education and Support

Why Homeopathy Is A Good Option For Osteoarthritis?

Dr. Sanket Gupta 88% (68 ratings)
BHMS, MD-Homeopathy, PGPC - Preventive Cardiology
Homeopath, Delhi
Why Homeopathy Is A Good Option For Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease that affects the various bone joints, leading to painful movement and thereby limiting the patient's mobility. Knees, hips, joints of hands and legs are affected. Symptoms of OA: The symptoms revolve around the bones and joints including: Pain and stiffness of the joints Swelling of the joints Inability to form a clench Difficulty holding things Stooped posture Weakness of legs and hands Reduced height over time. In most people with OA, the options in allopathy are limited to nonsteroidal analgesics to control pain and in severe cases, surgical correction. However, homeopathy takes into account the triggering symptoms, the associated symptoms, and the status of the immune system before deciding on a treatment regimen. With this holistic approach, homeopathy achieve the following: Reduce the pain, swelling ,and stiffness Slows the pace of further degeneration Improves mobility of the affected joint(s) Improves the body's overall immune system, thereby allow the body to promote healing on its own Homeopathic intervention in the early phases is particularly helpful, as it will arrest disease progression It also enable better absorption of minerals and nutrients essential for bone health. This allows healing of existing bone fractures and avoids further bone damage by strengthening the bones. Homeopathic treatment also enables the body's chemical state to withstand stress and illnesses better. It vitalizes the body's natural healing and ability to repair itself, to create a better state of health and well-being Some of the popular homeopathic medications based on areas and associated symptoms are listed below: Knee Joints: Bryonia Alba: Pain worsened with movement, relieved with rest; associated with swelling and stiffness of the joints; difficulty in climbing stairs. Calcarea Carbonica: Swelling and pain that is worsened when getting up from a seated position. The joints feel cold and painful. Sulphur: Worse with climbing stairs, prolonged standing, feeling of warmth in the knees. Hip Joints: Colcynthis: Cramping pain improved by pressure. Rhus Toxicodendron: Pain when getting up from a seated position. Pulsatilla Nigricans: Associated with muscle stiffness and cramping. Finger Joints: Antimonium Crudum: The pain pain gets worse in cold weather, improved by applying something warm) Benzoic Acid: There is an associated crackling sound when the fingers are moved or if there are nodes in the area of joints. The urine is highly offensive in these people. Calcara Fluorica: There are stony hard nodes formed in the joint area, greatly reducing the mobility. These medications are safe, completely natural, do not induce habit formation, and are approved by FDA. They don't just treat the symptoms but help manage the patient as a whole. This justifies why homeopathy is definitely a good option in treating osteoarthritis.
2 people found this helpful


Dr. Sanjay Bansal 85% (76 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, Fellowship Joint Replacement Surgery
Orthopedist, Delhi
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Osteoarthritis: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Suffering From Osteoarthritis - What You Should Know?

Dr. Bharat Singh 84% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD-Medicine, DM - Clinical Immunology
Rheumatologist, Jaipur
Suffering From Osteoarthritis - What You Should Know?
There are so many things we take for granted. For example, have you ever thought about how your fingers bend or how your knees open and fold to help you walk? It is only when these simple acts start becoming uncomfortable that we take a closer look at them. Osteoarthritis is a common musculoskeletal condition that affects the cartilage in our joints. As the cartilage breaks down, bones lose the buffer between them and every movement becomes stiff and painful. Here are a few things you should know about osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is common: Osteoarthritis can affect both men and women but men have a higher risk of osteoarthritis as compared to women. This risk increases with age. Other risk factors associated with osteoarthritis include obesity, genetics, muscle weakness and previous joint injuries. The joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis include the knees, hips, and spine. It is important to note that though this condition is common, it is not inevitable. You can reduce your risk of Osteoarthritis: By making a few lifestyle changes you can reduce the chances of suffering from this condition. Controlling your blood sugar and weight are primary amongst these. Regular exercise is also necessary as it increases flexibility and keeps the joints supple. It also strengthens the bones and muscles. If your work involves heavy lifting avoid placing stress on your knees and instead lift the weight with your hips. Different people have different symptoms: This condition has a very slow progression rate and hence may go unnoticed in its early stages. While some people experience pain in the early stages, others may not realize anything is amiss until an X-ray shows the degenerated cartilage. It also progresses at different rates for each individual. The condition will progress faster in the case of people living with heavy stress or those with a sedentary lifestyle. Some of the common symptoms associated with osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints. Along with an X ray, blood tests will also be conducted to diagnose osteoarthritis. This helps rule out any other type of arthritis. In rare cases, osteoarthritis can cause joint deformities. Exercise is the best treatment for osteoarthritis: At present, there is no known cure for this disease. Medication can help relieve the pain caused by movement but cannot help stop the cartilage degeneration or help new cartilage grow. However, exercise can be very beneficial. This helps strengthen the muscles around the joint and can even slow down the rate of degeneration. Low-intensity exercises such as walking, swimming, yoga, and cycling are ideal for osteoarthritis patients as they do not put any pressure on the joints.
2 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

On my left hand at the base of the thumb and towards the edge of my finger is aching constantly. On getting an x-ray of the thumb area my orthopedic surgeon reports that I am suffering from osteoarthritis and it is a degenerative process which can not be cured and I should depend upon pain killers through out my life. I am aged 75 years without any health ailments like B.p./diabetics and heart problems. I am strict vegetarian and a regular walker covering 10000 steps and walking 5 miles a day and also doing yoga and meditation early in the morning. My diet consists of green leaves, vegetables of all varieties fruits, nuts, milk, honey and wheat. Can you suggest me any remedy for my ailment. Thanks in advance.

Dr. Nilesh Nolkha 91% (347 ratings)
DM - Rheumatology, MD - General Medicine
Rheumatologist, Mumbai
Not sure if he has talked about carpometacarpal arthritis or osteoarthritis of thumb base joint? There are better options - Use of a splint like thumb spica spint (can see on amazon) - Injecting involved joint with steroid (safe and usually effective) - Hand therapists may be able to suggest wax baths and other exercise (occupational therapists - OT) OT specialists also helps to suggest good mesures on hand funtions to minimise pain USe of a gel like volini twice day might be hepful use of painkillers in short courses is not bad, effeective and decreases any inflammation Sometimes pain might appear to be due to osteoarthritis, but there might be other causes being missed Depending on various scenarios and diagnosis treatment plan can be formed Take a second opinion and if possible consult a rheumatologist best wishes
1 person found this helpful

I have a knee joint problem in both knees and have Osteoarthritis but continue my regular daily activities. Had been prescribed Calcimax Forte and Cartigen Forte around 5 years back. I take one Calcimax Forte daily. When the stiffness and pain starts I start taking Cartigen Forte. Earlier I was told not to take Cartigen Forte for more than 3 months. So I take this as and when stiffness or pain starts. Am I doing the right thing? Should I keep on taking Cartigen Forte daily. I am 65 years old. Stiffness and pain the finger joints, shoulders, knees and back suddenly comes up and lasts for a couple of days and goes off on its own. What do I do about this? How do I stop the progress of this stiffness and pain?

Dr. Faiyaz Khan (Pt) 91% (288 ratings)
MPT - Orthopedic Physiotherapy, Fellowship in Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (FOR)
Physiotherapist, Kolkata
Neither Calcium or Collagen Peptides must be taken for too long. Not more than three months is a general rule. avoid it. instead you can take Vitamin D3, Magnesium, Boswellia Serrata etc. You can make a Paste of 1teaspoon Ghee and 1/2 teaspoon Ginger and apply at knee for 30mins twice daily to get good relief. Drink plenty of water. Do regular Knee Exercise such as SLR, Quadriceps Isometric, VMO Isometric, Hamstrings Strenthenig, Pelvis Muscle Strenthenig, Balance Exercise. knee swinging by sitting in a high table or bed, oscillate or gently swing your knees with small amplitude , by tying a 2kg weight cuff at both ankles. do it for ten minutes twice daily. it will help to regenerate your cartilage gradually by joint imbibition and hydration. Sleep with pillow between knees. Don't cross leg and sit. maintain a healthy balanced diet. You can fight aging by a healthy lifestyle. Hope it helps. Wishing you a good health. Thanks. Hope it helps.
1 person found this helpful

I have been suffering from osteoarthritis for both of my knees for last two years. On the advice of orthopaedic surgeon I took medicines like Macvestin Total, thereafter Macvestin 400 & Bio D3 Max with ointment gel. Presently I am taking Bio D3 Plus, Dynapar Gel & tab feburic 20. I am also doing leg exercises as advised by doctor. I was better, but for last one month I am feeling pain while walking & rolling feeling of both knee bones. Kindly advise for further treatment if necessary.

Physiotherapist, Navi Mumbai
Kindly check your present body weight since both the knee joint is affected, excess of body weight will affect the knee joint as it's weak. Keep body weight under control. You have to do knee joint strengthening exercises on a daily basis. This will strengthen muscles around knee joint and ease your pain. Kindly consult a physiotherapist nearby to know the detailed exercises. Exercises, controlled body weight, calcium in diet and exposure to sunlight in the morning hours will definitely help you to reduce the pain.

Hi, I am Suffering from Osteoarthritis. Seeking Permanent relief from Osteoarthritis. Kindly help me! Legs got swell up and joint pain. Can't even walk for sometimes.

Dr. Vishwas Virmani 91% (16039 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Noida
Avoid sitting Cross legged. Avoid Squatting- Quadriceps Exercises- Lie straight, make a towel role and put it under the knee, press the keen against the role, hold it for 20 secs. Repeat 20 times twice a day. This will help relieve some pain. Core Strengthening Exercise- Straight Leg Raised With Toes Turned Outward, repeat 10 times, twice a day. Hams Stretching- lie straight, take the leg up, pull the feet towards yourself, with a elastic tube or normal belt. repeat 10 times, twice a day. Sports Taping- stretch the tape from both ends and apply on the affected area Contrast Fomentation (Hot and Cold).

My mom is suffered from osteoarthritis and Parkinson's disease from back 2 years and her both knee become bend and she can't walk and even can sit herself her both hand finger become stiff and her right hand wrist also bend. She is talking syndopa plus and rasalect as her main dose but there is no improvement in her condition. Is there any unani or ayurvedic doctor who can give me satisfactory suggestion about my mother and can treat her.

Dr. Vishwas Virmani 91% (16039 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Noida
Hams Stretching- lie straight, take the leg up, pull the feet towards yourself, with a elastic tube or normal belt. repeat 10 times, twice a day. Sports Taping- stretch the tape from both ends and apply on the affected area Contrast Fomentation (Hot and Cold).

Health Quizzes

Do you think you need to lose weight?

Dr. Vishwas Madhav Thakur 90% (875 ratings)
General Physician, Gurgaon
Eating less is the best way to lose weight. True or false. Take a quiz to know more about it.
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Knee Replacement - When It Is Required?

Dr. Madu Sridhar 85% (32 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, M.Ch Trauma & Ortho, Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho), MBBS
Orthopedist, Chennai
Osteoarthritis is the main reason for knee replacement. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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Arthritis Myths and Facts

Dr. Suraj Prakash 90% (73 ratings)
M.Ch - Orthopaedics, Fellowship in Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine, MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Delhi
Do you know that you can slow the progression of Arthritis by living healthy? Test your knowledge about Arthritis by taking this quiz.
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