Osteoarthritis is a common aspect of the aging process with symptoms that are easy to recognize. On the contrary from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis results from routine wear and tear over time and is most often diagnosed in older people.
“Most of us will get osteoarthritis at some point,” says Dr. Sanchez of Knee Pain Clinic. “In some cases, discomfort is all the time, sometimes it comes and goes and it can happen in just one knee or both. Eventually, almost everyone experiences it to some degree,” Sanchez adds. Here are 5 signs that you may be suffering from osteoarthritis.
1. Pain in the Joints
Osteoarthritis results from the wearing down of cartilage, exposing small nerves and leading bones to rub against each other. As a result, pain can happen when the joints are in constant use, but also while at rest.
Stiffness, particularly in the morning, or after a prolonged period of inactivity is very common. For instance, sitting for a long time, or when waking up in the morning, are factors that cause stiffness in our patients. In fact, if the symptoms only last for a few minutes, it’s most likely osteoarthritis.
3. Limited Range of Motion
One of the main symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee is the inability of a joint to move, it’s normal to be less flexible as you get older. Nonetheless, if the range of motion is reduced dramatically compared to peers of the same age, it could be an early sign of arthritis.
4. Redness and Swelling in the Joints
Pay attention if the joints are discolored and/or swollen compared with the surrounding area. Diet can increase or reduce inflammation, to prevent swelling, avoid sugar, saturated and trans fats, refined carbohydrates and gluten. It’s also critically important to drink lots of water because the cartilage that lacks moisture is more brittle.
5. Warmth in the Joints
It’s common for arthritic joints to be warm to the touch. Several other conditions can cause warmth too, including a potentially fatal infection. So it’s important to pin down the cause in consultation with a physician.
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Arthritis may be hereditary and is also influenced by environmental factors. If you’re repeatedly and regularly putting stress on joints, stop or reduce or take precautions in your activities by wearing a back brace for heavy lifting or knee pads while working on hands and knees.
“People don’t exercise because it hurts, but the less you move, the worse it gets,” Dr. Sanchez says. A healthy diet, regular exercise and stretching now and they are always the first place to start preventing or reducing pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee
Medicinal treatments include over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil and Aleve, or stronger medicines available only by prescription.
If you live in the Rio Grande Valley and want to know more about how to proactively prevent or treat knee osteoarthritis, Dr. Manuel Sanchez has 3 clinics across the Valley for your convenience. Visit any of our clinics in McAllen, Weslaco or Brownsville by scheduling a Free Pre-Consultation today (956) 225-2683.