Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects approximately 30 million Americans. It occurs when the cartilage between your bones disintegrates. Cartilage cushions your bones from rubbing together. As the cartilage disintegrates, it can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. 

Osteoarthritis of the Knee

The most common symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include: 

  • Stiffness and swelling of the knee
  • More pain or swelling in the morning or after resting
  • Locking, creaking, clicking, snapping, or grinding of the joints
  • Feeling like the affected knee is weak or buckling
  • Increased pain after physical activity or wet weather

You can feel pain all over the knee when you have this type of osteoarthritis. It can affect your mobility and restrict your ability to move. This is especially difficult for people who rely on walking a lot during the day.

Osteoarthritis of the Hip

Hip osteoarthritis is a painful condition that can affect your mobility. People with hip osteoarthritis have pain around the hip joint that gets worse over time. As time goes by, the pain can become more frequent and more severe. You may also experience more pain at night or when you’ve been resting.

Other symptoms of hip osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain in the groin or thigh that radiates out to the buttocks or knee
  • Stiffness in the morning or after resting or standing
  • Pain after physical activity
  • Stiffness in the joint, or difficulty walking and bending
  • Sticking, locking, or grinding of the hip joint
  • A decline in range of motion
  • Potential limp
  • Increased pain during wet weather

Treatment Options

There is no straightforward cure for osteoarthritis, but treatment can help relieve discomfort and slow the damage. Your treatment options will depend on your individual needs but may include: 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing pain with medications
  • Alternative therapies including acupuncture, heat and cold packs, occupational therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc. 
  • Injectable steroids

If joint pain becomes severe, and other therapies do not help, Dr. Nelson may recommend surgery. 

Osteoarthritis can cause pain and reduced mobility, but there are many treatments available. Give Dr. Nelson a call today to get started on developing a treatment plan. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, meaning it gets worse over time, so you may need to adjust your treatment plan as the condition progresses. Everyday activities don’t have to be painful, you’ve got options that will help. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Nelson, call 435-774-8511.