There are several types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints. Cartilage is a protein substance that serves as a cushion or shock absorber between the bones of the joints. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis. Osteoarthritis affects over 27 million people in the United States and occurs more frequently as we age. 1 in 2 people in the United States may develop knee OA by age 85, and 1 in 4 may develop hip OA in their lifetime. Until age 50, men and women are equally affected by OA; after age 50, women are affected more than men. Over their lifetimes, 21% of overweight and 31% of obese adults are diagnosed with arthritis.
OA affects daily activity and is the most common cause of disability in the US adult population. Although OA does not always require surgery, such as a joint replacement, it has been estimated that the use of total joint replacement in the United States will increase 174% for hips and 673% for knees by 2030.
The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joints after repetitive use. Joint pain is usually worse later in the day. There can be swelling, warmth, and creaking of the affected joints. Pain and stiffness of the joints can also occur after long periods of inactivity, for example, sitting in the theater. In severe osteoarthritis complete loss of cartilage cushion causes friction between bones, causing pain at rest or pain with limited motion.
At Everybody Physical Therapy we can help design an individual program that meets your needs, and lets you return to the activities you love. Our physical therapists can you understand OA and its complications, and provide treatments to lessen pain and improve movement.