Osteoarthritis: What? Who? When?

Sep 27, 2017 | Blog, Pain Management

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a joint degenerative disease and the most common chronic condition of the joints. It occurs when the cushion between the cartilage of the joints suffers from “wear and tear.” There is an estimated 27 million Americans affected by osteoarthritis. While it can affect any joint, it is more common in the knees, hips, lower back and neck, and small joints such as the fingers. Since cartilage provides a smooth surface between the bones, when it breaks down it causes pain and swelling. In addition, if osteoarthritis continues to worsen, it may cause bones to break down and may develop growths known as spurs.

Who is More Susceptible of Osteoarthritis?

While people of all ages are susceptible to osteoarthritis, those over the age of 65 are more likely to develop it. Age, however, is not the only factor that may increase the chances of osteoarthritis. Obesity, previous joint injury, overuse of the joint, weak thigh muscles, and genes also play a part in osteoarthritis developing. Studies show that one of two adults develop symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, one in four will develop it in their hips by age 85, and one in twelve of those 60 years and older will get it in their hands (What is Osteoarthritis, n.d.).

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joints during repetitive use. Individuals may also experience swollen joints, joint stiffness, joint creaking, and loss of range of motion. Osteoarthritis may prevent individuals from being able to perform ordinary tasks due to pain. Different joints are affected in different ways.

  • Hips: Pain in the groin or buttocks, and sometimes in the inside of the knee or thigh.
  • Knees: Scraping sensation when moving
  • Fingers: Spurs (bony growths) at the edge of joints can cause fingers to become swollen, tender and red. Pain at the base of thumb.
  • Feet: Pain and tenderness in the large joint at base of the big toe. Swelling may occur in the ankles or toes.

How Does Age Affect Osteoarthritis?

Age is not a direct cause of the osteoarthritis, but is considered a large factor in its development. Since it is a “wear and tear” disease it is expected that those who are older may show increased signs of its symptoms. As people get older their cells and tissues lose the ability to maintain homeostasis. This increased stress on the joint makes osteoarthritis more likely to develop. In addition, older individuals who suffer from joint injuries have an even higher risk of developing the disease (Anderson, A. S., & Loeser, R. F, 2010, February).

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above in your joints, you may be showing signs of osteoarthritis. At Comprehensive Spine & Pain Physicians, Doctor Reginald Ajakwe and Doctor Raymond Tatevossian will help improve your pain.

Located in Burbank, California, call (818) 325-2088 to make an appointment today. The doctors at Comprehensive Spine & Pain Physicians will choose the right treatment option to relieve your symptoms of osteoarthritis to help you return to your everyday life as soon as possible.


Anderson, A. S., & Loeser, R. F. (2010, February). Why is Osteoarthritis an Age-Related Disease? Retrieved September 08, 2017, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2818253/

What is Osteoarthritis? (n.d.). Retrieved September 08, 2017, from http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoarthritis/what-is-osteoarthritis.php