What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis? If it’s been getting harder and harder to open jars in the kitchen or to take a walk without your knees aching, you may be experiencing osteoarthritis symptoms. Learn how to identify the tell-tale signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis so you can manage it effectively and get back to doing the things you love.
Osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects the joints. In fact, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.1 It is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage, a tough, smooth, slippery substance that acts like a cushion between the bones in joints deteriorates, leaving the joint’s bones to rub against one another without this protective buffer. Cartilage deterioration exposes a lot of little nerves that can become inflamed. This bone-on-bone rubbing makes movement painful, and can create bone spurs at the site of friction. It can also cause inflammation. Episodes of inflammation can cause painful flare-ups2.
You are more likely to experience osteoarthritis in joints that are overused. For example, a baker may get osteoarthritis in the hands, or a runner could get osteoarthritis in the knees. It can also be caused by carrying around excess body weight, which can lead to muscle strain and extra stress on the joints.3
It can be tempting to brush off aches and pains as a normal part of life—just a part of getting older, right? But no matter your age (osteoarthritis can strike at any time of life, mind you), you shouldn’t ignore pain. Learn about the causes and symptoms of osteoarthritis and what you can do about them.