Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, and it’s the most common type of arthritis Dr. Nikesh Seth treats. There’s a good chance you’ll have some degree of OA in your life, considering that 27 million Americans over 25 years old have this form of arthritis. It’s more common as you age, which is why it’s also called “wear-and-tear arthritis.”
As the joint cartilage continues to get worn out and damaged with age, OA begins to set in. Most OA happens gradually, and you might not realize discomfort and stiffness have become the norm. In some cases, osteophytes (an overgrowth of bone in response to a lack of cartilage) can occur. These types of bone spurs also weaken tendons and muscles.
The joints most likely to become affected with OA are weight-bearing. This includes the knee, hip, and spine. If a person is overweight, that can speed up the progress of OA or can cause it in other joints. When OA is present, a lot of people enjoy relief with moderate activity followed by rest. Getting up in the morning often has OA sufferers feeling stiff, but moving around for 30 minutes offers relief. Exercise and movement is a great treatment plan for OA, but severe OA may require additional medical help.
Seventy percent of people aged 70+ have OA. However, only half of them are aware of it. A lot of the time, OA is asymptomatic. Many people only find out they have OA after an x-ray. Women are also at a higher risk than men, especially after the age of 45.
Age, being overweight, muscle weakness, injury, and a family history of OA also increase a person’s odds of being diagnosed with the disease. Being diagnosed and treated early is key. However, if surgery has been recommended, you might want to get a second opinion. Schedule your custom evaluation with Integrated Pain Consultants by calling 480-626-2552.