Osteoarthritis FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)
An estimated 12.1 percent (21 million Americans) of the U.S. population age 25 and older have osteoarthritis.
- Stiffness in a joint after getting our of bed or sitting for a long time.
- Swelling or tenderness in one or more joints.
- A crunching, grinding, or popping sensation which occurs during movement.
The cause of osteoarthritis is unknown. Factors that might cause it include the following:
- Being overweight
- Getting Older (wear and tear)
- Joint Injury
- Joints that are not properly formed (alignment/imbalance problems)
- A genetic defect in the joint cartilage
- Stresses on the joints from certain activities including sports, work and leisure activities
- Hands – fingers, thumbs, and wrist joints (often made worse by high stress or repetitive actions)
- Spine – in the neck and lower back
- Medical history
- Physical exam
- Blood tests and related lab work to rule out other conditions
- Improve joint function (restoring motion and function)
- Keep a healthy body weight
- Control pain
- Achieve a healthy lifestyle
Typically treatments can be combined to fit a patient’s needs, lifestyle, and health. Treatment plans typically involve:
- Weight control
- Rest and joint care
- Nondrug pain relief techniques to control pain
- Complementary and alternative therapies
- Surgery/Joint Replacement