Osteo arthritis is a condition of the body in which the bones are affected by diminishing cartledge. It happens when the body is not able to produce new cartilage fast enough to repair the cartilage that naturally breaks down. The result is that the bones of the joint don't have enough cartilage to protect them from rubbing together, so it causes severe pain. While medical professionals aren't certain of the exact causes, they know that a number of things, such as genetics, weight, aging, and joint injury contribute to it. Here are a few signs and symptoms, if you believe you might have osteo arthritis.
Pain, swelling, and stiffness
Inflammation is one of the ways that we know something is wrong with our bodies. Most maladies involve some form of inflammation. It can cause pain, as the workings of the joint are stretched and can even cause noticeable swelling in the knee. Some medical professionals recommend that pain is the body's way of telling us there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Joint pain can be caused by inflammation or from the bones rubbing together, due to lack of a cushioning material, such as cartilage.
Cracking and creaking
Even healthy joints can make creaking and crunching noises. It can be a normal reaction to general aging, mild injury, or simply the normal function of the knee. However, if grinding noises are apparent all of the time and manifest with other symptoms, such as swelling, pain, or weakness, then it can be a cause for added concern.
Muscle weakness and reduced range of motion
When osteo arthritis attacks, it makes the joint less able to function properly. There is a notable loss of range of motion. The joint might not extend, bend, or flex fully. In the worst cases, there is an almost complete loss of use. In some cases, the condition can not only causes issues with the cartilage and joint, but also affect the muscles surrounding the joint, causing them to become weaker and compounding the effects.
Sleep is an essential healing mechanism of the body. During sleep, a person is able to escape pain and the body can try to address issues of inflammation and injury. However, in many cases the pain of the joint can keep the person from sleeping, which not only prevents the body from trying to fix itself, but can also have other serious side effects. It can cause impaired thought and a drop in general outlook and a poor sense of wellbeing. If an aching joint is keeping you awake, it could be a sign of osteo arthritis.
In the worst cases of osteo arthritis, the joint injury becomes so severe that the bone actually begins to disfigure. While cases are usually addressed far before this stage, it is important to know that it is a sign of an untreated issue.
Remember to check with your doctor before taking any treatment or medical remedy.