What happens to your body when you have osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in a joint to become stiff and lose its elasticity, making it more susceptible to damage. Over time, the cartilage may wear away in some areas, greatly decreasing its ability to act as a shock absorber. As the cartilage deteriorates, tendons and ligaments stretch, causing pain.

Does osteoarthritis affect the whole body?

But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.

Will osteoarthritis cripple me?

Osteoarthritis is rarely crippling, but it can have a major impact on a person’s life. Many people miss work days or skip favorite activities when the pain flares up. The condition is responsible for more than 27.5 million outpatient visits per year, according to data from the Arthritis Foundation.

How quickly does osteoarthritis spread?

Generally, radiological lesions gradually and slowly increase. However, the pace of this progression can be very variable. In extreme cases, some cases of osteoarthritis may remain stable for decades, while others progress very rapidly to complete destruction of the cartilage in the space of a few months.

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Does walking worsen osteoarthritis?

You may worry that a walk will put extra pressure on your joints and make the pain worse. But it has the opposite effect. Walking sends more blood and nutrients to your knee joints. This helps them feel better.

Is osteoarthritis classed as a disability?

Osteoarthritis can be considered a disability by the SSA. You can get Social Security disability with osteoarthritis.

Will I end up in a wheelchair with osteoarthritis?

Pain, stiffness, or difficulty moving could affect your mobility, making tasks like walking or driving very difficult. You may need to use a cane, walker, or wheelchair to get around. Some people require assistance getting in or out of a car.

What is the most painful form of arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis can be one of the most painful types of arthritis; it affects joints as well as other surrounding tissues, including organs. This inflammatory, autoimmune disease attacks healthy cells by mistake, causing painful swelling in the joints, like hands, wrists and knees.

Does the pain of osteoarthritis ever go away?

Osteoarthritis is a long-term condition and cannot be cured, but it doesn’t necessarily get any worse over time and it can sometimes gradually improve. A number of treatments are also available to reduce the symptoms. Mild symptoms can sometimes be managed with simple measures including: regular exercise.

What causes osteoarthritis flare ups?

The most common triggers of an OA flare are overdoing an activity or trauma to the joint. Other triggers can include bone spurs, stress, repetitive motions, cold weather, a change in barometric pressure, an infection or weight gain.

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