Over the years I have seen many people who have asked me “Do I have osteoarthritis?” but diagnosis is always difficult.
The current diagnosis or definition is when there has been pain for more than 3 months, with or without X-ray findings. But to make the diagnosis based solely on pain without the X-ray finding always worries clinicians as it could be a different type of arthritis which need a different treatment protocol.
The new study was published in the Journal of Rheumatology and it suggests it may be very possible to answer this all important question of do I have osteoarthritis to diagnose osteoarthritis with a simple blood test. They investigated whether cytokines/chemokines (small protein molecules which signal cell changes) are changed in people with osteoarthritis.
This is their conclusion:
Our study suggests that comparing the expression levels of cytokines/chemokines in synovial fluid and/or serum of patients with OA may have promise as a diagnostic platform to identify patients early in their disease course.
This means they will be able to tell from a simple blood test or at worst taking some of the synovial (joint) fluid whether the joint pain is being caused by osteoarthritis or something else.
Do I have Osteoarthritis? How To Tell Now…
These are common signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis:
Sharp Pain– usually on movement.
Deep Ache– usually after you have stopped and tends to get worse as the day goes on.
Stiffness– usually in the morning or if you have been sedentary for a while.
Crepitus– grinding/grating/crunching/popping which is often (but not always) painless.
Click on these links to get specific joint signs and symptoms:
But please the only person who should really be answering the question “Do I have osteoarthritis” should be a healthcare professional!