Pain Management Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA), the most widespread form of arthritis, is a degenerative joint condition most prevalently found among older people; however, other factors may contribute to its development even among younger individuals. Osteoarthritis occurs when protective cartilage in joints begins deteriorating, leading to pain, stiffness and diminished joint function, resulting in reduced quality of life for patients.
What Leads To Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis remains challenging to pinpoint as its exact cause remains uncertain; however, various factors could contribute to its onset or worsening;
Aging: Age is one of the primary risk factors associated with osteoarthritis. Over time, wear-and-tear damage to joints makes them increasingly susceptible to further degradation or destruction.
Joint Injuries: Injury histories such as sports-related trauma or accidents increase your chance of osteoarthritis over time, and lasting damage may remain from them that will only get worse with time.
Abnormal Joint Structure: Some individuals’ joints do not form properly, making them susceptible to osteoarthritis development.
Genetic Factors: Congenital disabilities of joint cartilage can increase an individual’s likelihood of osteoarthritis, particularly among individuals from families where this has already happened.
Obesity: Carrying too much excess body weight or obesity stresses joints, particularly knees, hips and lower back. This increased mechanical load poses an increased risk for osteoarthritis.
Repetitive Joint Use: Overusing joints due to repeated movements from work or other activities may hasten their degradation and lead to tissue breakdown in joint spaces.
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Osteoarthritis can manifest in different ways for every individual and can vary depending on where the affected is in their lifecycle. There are specific symptoms which individuals living with osteoarthritis often report experiencing:
Joint Pain: Osteoarthritis can manifest with symptoms that include joint pain. Over time, this discomfort worsens with everyday use or activity and may temporarily alleviate after rest. However, this pain may worsen at more advanced stages, disrupting sleep even further.
Morning Stiffness: People with osteoarthritis frequently report joint stiffness that tends to worsen first thing in the morning or following long periods of inactivity, usually lessening within 30 minutes after movement begins or has stopped.
Swelling: Swelling of affected joints is common after prolonged or intensive activity that involves that joint.
Reduced Range of Motion: Osteoarthritis can significantly restrict joint movement, decreasing flexibility.
Joint Instability: Some individuals may experience joint instability or looseness that becomes increasingly noticeable as their disease advances.
Visible Joint Changes: Joint deformities may develop over time, including bony outgrowths or changes to standard shape.
Areas of the Body Commonly Affected by Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis can afflict any joint in your body, with some joints being more commonly affected than others:
Hands: OA can negatively impact finger joints, particularly their ends and bases; this may result in bony growths or shape changes that lead to bony enlargement and shape changes.
Knees: Joint osteoarthritis in the knee may manifest itself by creating grinding or scraping noises during movement, muscle and ligament weakness and instability – symptoms that could increase with age.
Hips: Individuals suffering from hip osteoarthritis often report experiencing pain and stiffness in the hip joint, groin area, inner thigh area or buttocks. Sometimes, this pain extends down into knee joints, further limiting mobility.
Neck: Osteoarthritis can result in stiffness and discomfort, often progressing into conditions like spinal stenosis.
Lower Back: Arthritis can create stiffness and pain in the lower back area, potentially impairing mobility.
Practical Pain Managementat TRI Physical Therapy
At TRI Physical Therapy, we understand the challenges posed by osteoarthritis-induced chronic pain can be daunting. Our highly qualified practitioners specialize in various techniques to relieve and improve joint function, such as manual therapy, functional exercises, laser therapy, myofascial pain treatment, trigger point therapy and many more.
At TRI Physical Therapy, our patient-centric approach ensures personalized care and support through every stage of pain management. Don’t allow osteoarthritis to rule your life; take back control by scheduling a consultation today with us – start on the path toward a pain-free future living now!