Although joint pain can be caused by a variety of factors, one of the most common conditions that leads to such pain is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when articular cartilage wears down over time. As a result, this degenerative condition generally gets worse with age if untreated.
Joint Pain Often Related to Osteoarthritis
It is believed that osteoarthritis affects nearly 20 million people worldwide. People live longer these days, so the number of osteoarthritis sufferers is expected to rise, leading to even more patients experiencing knee pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, back pain, rotator cuff pain, and more.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
For many patients, osteoarthritis generally comes on slowly and gets progressively more intense. People suffering from the condition may experience pain or stiffness. Additionally, patients might feel tightness or grinding in the affected joint. In many cases, stiffness will occur in the morning or with changes in the weather. Because osteoarthritis can occur in a variety of joints, symptoms may appear in different parts of the body, including in the knees and hands.
Possible Dangers of Osteoarthritis
Because osteoarthritis is often a degenerative disease, it’s important to have regular medical checkups with a qualified orthopedic specialist if you have been diagnosed with the condition. In addition, if you suspect you have osteoarthritis or if you are a woman over the age of 30, it’s a good idea to get checked on a regular basis to catch the condition early. You should also seek help from an orthopedic specialist if you know of a genetic predisposition to osteoarthritis in your family, or if you are approaching or going through menopause.
Thankfully, there are a number of treatment options available to treat joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. Conservative measures may include:
- Exercising to lose weight
- Physical therapy
- Applying heat or cold packs to the affected joint
If those measures fail, your doctor may recommend the addition of anti-inflammatory medications. Many people also find relief by taking over-the-counter pain medications, including acetaminophen, but your specific case needs to be examined by your orthopedic specialist before you take any medications.
In Southlake, Frisco, and the surrounding communities, residents rely on Advanced Spine & Orthopedics for relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions, including back pain, neck pain, hip pain, knee pain, and shoulder pain. Dr. Kevin James and his team also specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery, hip replacement surgery, ankle surgery, and other orthopedic surgical procedures.