Early Signs of Osteoarthritis

Posted on August 31st, 2016 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

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Osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear arthritis” is a form of joint pain that occurs when the cartilage at the end of your bones begins to degenerate. Cartilage acts as a cushion for your bones, allowing them to smoothly pass over each other. But when this tissue wears down, the bones begin to rub together.

Osteoarthritis generally impacts people in their middle-aged years and older, but here are some early warning signs that you may experience even sooner than that:

  • Pain. The most obvious symptom of osteoarthritis is joint pain. This pain can vary for every individual, ranging from a dull ache to a sharp, stinging pain.

  • Tenderness. Tenderness is a more specific type of pain. It is described as the the discomfort you feel when pressing down on the joint.

  • Stiffness. If your joints feel tight and stiff after waking up or sitting down for long periods of time, this is a sign of early osteoarthritis. Generally, this stiff feeling will disappear after moving around and warming up your joints.

  • Clicking, cracking, and grinding. Your cartilage acts as a shock absorber, so when it is not there, the bone-to-bone rubbing can result in abnormal sensations. These include a grinding or grating feeling in the joints, as well as audible clicking and cracking.

At first, you may only experience these symptoms after physical activity. However, as the osteoarthritis progresses into the advanced stage, the symptoms will become worse and may occur all of the time.

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? If so, it’s time to seek professional help from an orthopedic doctor. As southern Connecticut’s largest and most experienced orthopedic practice, trust OSG to treat all of your bone and joint pain. Visit our website for more information, or give us a call at (203) 337-2600.