Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of arthritis and can occur slowly over time as cartilage within the joints wears down. The cartilage between the bones in a joint allows for improved motion and helps to cushion the bones. Degeneration of the cartilage in a joint over time is a normal aging process. However, if it wears down too much, osteoarthritis occurs, causing underlying changes to the bones within a joint.
Common Risk Factors:
Gender - women are more likely to develop OA compared to men
Joint injuries or repetitive stress to the joint
Injuries from sports or just overuse over the years can increase one’s risk for OA in a joint
Certain metabolic disorders
The degeneration of the cartilage occurs slowly over time and can cause bone spurs to develop in the joint, which can cause pain, swelling, and/or stiffness in the joint. Diagnosis of OA is typically made through a review of the person’s symptoms, physical examination, imaging, and even lab testing. Hands, knees, hips, and the spine are commonly affected joints.
Common OA symptoms include:
Swelling in the joints or around the joints
Loss of range of motion or flexibility of the joint
Tenderness to touch
Some experience cracking, popping, or grinding sensation within the joint
These symptoms can lead to decreased mobility and function, impacting an individual’s ability to perform daily tasks or work. Treatments for OA include, but are not limited to, medications for pain relief, physical and occupational therapy, and sometimes injections or surgery. Healthy lifestyle choices are another way to decrease the progression of OA.
Physical therapy has been proven to help reduce OA symptoms! PT will not reverse the underlying changes to the bones themselves. Still, it can improve muscle strength, flexibility, or joint mobility and help decrease pain by improving body mechanics. Physical therapists can create an individualized exercise program and offer lifestyle or movement modification suggestions to protect the joints. Strength training and proper movement training during therapy sessions can lessen the strain on the joints and help to improve symptoms. If you would like an individualized exercise plan to improve your mobility and decrease you pain give us a call at 585-259-0782.
Our Wellness 360 team has created an online exercise program made specifically for those who have joint pain. Our Wellness Plus+ On-Demand program is full of evidence based exercise to improve your mobility, and function without stressing your joints! The cost of the program is $25 a month and you receive your first 2-week FREE! Sign- up today by clicking the link below.