Osteoarthritis Symptoms – an overview
This is an overview of osteoarthritis symptoms. It is NOT meant to replace a visit to a health care professional to get properly diagnosed. There are over 150 different types of arthritis and each type is treated in a different way so please make sure that you do actually have osteoarthritis before you decide what you are going to do about it.
Surprisingly there is little correlation between the severity of your osteoarthritis symptoms and actually how much degeneration you have. Some people with mild osteoarthritis have a lot of pain while others with severe osteoarthritis have very little pain.
The following is a list of common osteoarthritis symptoms. You can get one, some or all of the following osteoarthritis symptoms:
Sharp Pain: the most common of osteoarthritis symptoms is pain. You usually get local sharp pain felt over the joint itself and this is often described as feeling like you have ground glass in your joint. It will be felt when you put pressure through the joint and on movement. It should relieve fairly quickly on stopping the activity and resting as this is the actual pain from the bone underneath the degenerated cartilage. Please see here for more information about this.
Deep Ache: this spreads all around the joint but often radiates further away as well. It is a ‘toothache’ type pain usually felt when you have been on the go for a while. It is a signal from your joint that it has had enough and needs a rest. This ache will continue for a while after you stop the activity and may be worse later that day or even the next day if you have overdone it. This is because it is the pain from the muscles, tendons and ligaments (the soft tissue) and so, just like when you over exercise, you will suffer later as well as at the time.
Stiffness: Almost everyone has this as one of their osteoarthritis symptoms. You usually get this in the morning or after periods of inactivity and this is often the first signal from your joint that something is wrong. How long this lasts for is a good indicator of how severe your degeneration is.
Crepitus: you may have ‘crepitus’ which means your joint grates, cracks or pops on certain movements. These can be, but are not always, painful. If your osteoarthritis is severe this can be actually felt when you lay your hand over the joint (palpated). the occasional pop is normal and does not count an osteoarthritis symptoms.
Decreased Motion: Your joint movement will decrease. Which direction it reduces will depend on which of your joints is affected.