It is the most common form of arthritis. It can affect any joint of the body, mostly affect the weight bearing joints such as knees and feet. Joints that we use daily like joints of hands are mostly affected. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushion the ends of the bones wear down with time. This cause pain and stiffness in the joint. When the joint develops osteoarthritis. The part of the cartilage become thin and surface becomes rougher. It can happen at any age but more common at 50s. Affecting most females then men. But there are ways to manage OA (osteoarthritis), decrease pain and maintain mobility.


It is due to the deterioration of the cartilage that cushions the joints. Eventually if cartilage wears down completely bone will rub on bone. Here are some things that contribute to osteoarthritis.


Osteoarthritis starts mostly from late 40s or early 50s.


For most joints, osteoarthritis affects more commonly and severely to females. The hormones estrogen and testosterone plays an important role in developing osteoarthritis in females. The rate of osteoarthritis boost up in females after menopause.


Being over weight is the most common cause of osteoarthritis. Extra weight put more stress on joints and fat cells promote osteoarthritis, especially in weight bearing joints like hip and knee joint.

Joint injury:

A major injury or operation of joint may lead to osteoarthritis. Very hard and repetitive physical activity may lead to osteoarthritis.

Joint abnormalities:

If a person born with joint abnormalities or develop them in childhood. This lead to osteoarthritis more early.


Using the same joint over and over in some physical activity may lead to injury. This may lead to osteoarthritis.

Genetic factors:

People with family who have OA is more likely to develop osteoarthritis.

Metabolic diseases:

These include diabetes or the disease in which your body has too much iron. This can also leads to osteoarthritis.


Osteoarthritis usually develop slowly but worse over time. Signs and symptoms of arthritis are following.


Pain or aching in the joint when moving .


tenderness may felt when pressure is applied near or on the joint.


Joint stiffness occur in the morning. After awakening and after rest.


The affected joint may sometimes become swollen. The swelling may be hard and knobby. Especially in the finger joints due to development of extra bone (osteophytes). The swelling may be soft. Due to the extra fluid accumulation inside the joint capsules.

Loss of flexibility:

Full range of motion is not achieved due to osteoarthritis. But it g away after exercise and movements.

Grating sensation:

You may feel grating sensation when you move the affected joints. When you move that bone, the sound of popping or crackling may heard.

Muscle weakness:

The muscle weakens around the joint.

Osteoarthritis Pain


Depression and sleep disturbances can result from the pain due to osteoarthritis.


These tests help to make the diagnosis:

Joint aspiration: In this after numbing the area the pin is inserted into the affected joint to pull out fluid. This test look for the crystal and infection in the fluid. This help out other medical conditions and other form of arthritis.

X-ray: X-rays shows the bone damage and other changes related to osteoarthritis.

MRI: MRI gives the better images f cartilage and other parts of joint.

Treatments for osteoarthritis

It is treated with combinations of the treatments like exercise, medication, physical therapy, weight loss. If needed, hot and cold compresses to painful joints, removal of joint fluid, injection of medicines into the joint. Surgery may also helpful when these treatments are not sufficient. The details of treatments are given below:


People with OA should stick to gentle, low-impact exercise. It’s important to stop exercising. If you begin to feel any new or increased joint pain.

As well as exercising in warm water increases blood flow to your joints. Which brings in nutrients and proteins essential for repairing damaged tissue.

Cold And Hot

Both cold and heat can help treat OA symptoms. Apply ice to an aching area for 20 minutes. It helps to restrict blood vessels.

Heat opens the blood vessels and increases circulation. Which as previously mentioned aids in repairing damaged tissue. Heat is also good for helping with stiffness.


Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the stress on affected joints. It may also reduces the inflammation of the body. A healthy diet can also help you to get essential nutrients. It might decrease inflammation and may slow the progression of arthritis.

Impact of weight and exercise on arthritis

Staying at your recommended weight helps prevent osteoarthritis of the knees, hips, and spine. It reduces the stress on these weight-bearing joints, and reduces pain in joints already affected.

Avoid activities that increase joint pain such as jogging or highly repetitive stressed exercises.

Managing symptoms

These include:

1. Lifestyle changes

2.Pain relief medications

3.Physical therapies

4.Supplements and complementary treatments.


Dr. Kashaf Iftikhar (Govt. college and university Fsd)

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