What are the Symptoms of Degenerative Arthritis?

What are the Symptoms of Degenerative Arthritis?

Degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, is a common type of arthritis characterized by the gradual degeneration and wear-and-tear of the joints and their surrounding structures. It primarily affects the cartilage the smooth, protective tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. The symptoms of degenerative arthritis can vary in intensity and may worsen over time. Here are the typical symptoms associated with degenerative arthritis:

  • Joint Pain: Persistent pain in the affected joint(s), often worsening with movement or weight-bearing activities and improving with rest. Initially, the pain may occur only during certain activities but can progress to chronic pain.
  • Stiffness: Morning stiffness or stiffness after periods of inactivity (e.g., sitting or sleeping), which usually improves with gentle movement and activity.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty or decreased ability to move the affected joint through its full range of motion, resulting in reduced flexibility.
  • Swelling and Tenderness: Swelling, tenderness, or a feeling of warmth around the affected joint, indicating inflammation.
  • Grating or Crepitus: Sensations of grating, cracking, or popping in the joint during movement, which can be caused by the rubbing of bone against bone due to cartilage loss.
  • Muscle Weakness: Weakness in the muscles around the affected joint due to disuse or changes in joint mechanics.
  • Joint Deformities: Over time, the joint may develop structural changes, such as bony enlargements (osteophytes or bone spurs), which can lead to visible joint deformities.
  • Localized Tenderness: Tenderness and sensitivity to touch around the affected joint.
  • Difficulty with Daily Activities: Challenges performing routine tasks or activities of daily living (ADLs), such as walking, climbing stairs, or bending, due to joint pain and limitations in movement.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or fatigued, often associated with the pain and limitations caused by osteoarthritis.
  • Altered Gait: Changes in the way a person walks (gait abnormalities), often to compensate for joint pain or instability.
  • Joint Instability: A sensation of joint instability or a feeling that the joint may give way, particularly in advanced cases.

It’s important to note that degenerative arthritis primarily affects weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, spine, and hands. However, it can also affect other joints. Additionally, osteoarthritis symptoms tend to progress slowly and worsen over time. If you suspect you have osteoarthritis or are experiencing symptoms related to joint pain and stiffness, consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation, diagnosis, and appropriate management. Treatment may include pain management, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and, in severe cases, surgical intervention.

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