Why Does Osteoarthritis Hurt So Bad?
Osteoarthritis affects approximately 32.5 million US adults, according to the CDC. Due to its limiting impact on patient lifestyle, many patients deal with debilitating pain, depression, anxiety, and sleep deprivation.
If you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis or care for a family member suffering from it, this post will help you understand the pain caused by this disease and the treatments you can try to finally be pain-free.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the protective cap at the end of your bones starts to wear out. It is commonly called the wear and tear of your joints, including the knees, hips, shoulders, fingers, and elbows. It usually starts to occur in patients in their mid-30s or obese patients. Other risk factors include:
- Joint overuse
- Weak muscles
- Joint injury
If you suspect that you’re getting more frequent back pain or knee pain, check these other early symptoms of OA and visit your doctor as soon as possible:
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Tender joints (visible swelling)
- Grating or cracking sensations in the joints
Why osteoarthritis causes severe pain
Our bones have cartilage at the ends that serve as a cushion or shock absorber when we move. There’s also a joint fluid that keeps the cartilages lubricated. Due to excessive pressure or use of the joints, the cartilage wears out and gets damaged, leading to OA. Severe pain occurs with osteoarthritis due to the bones rubbing against each other and causing inflammation.
Stages of osteoarthritis
Did you know that it is possible to have osteoarthritis without experiencing pain?
The cartilage in your joints can start to wear down without showing any symptoms. Here are the three stages of OA:
- Breakdown of the cartilage matrix consisting of collagen and proteoglycan
- The broken pieces and contents of the cartilage go with the joint fluid
- Reduction of the cartilage, which causes chronic inflammation and pain
What makes osteoarthritis more difficult for overweight and obese individuals
Osteoarthritis in overweight and obese patients is harder to manage. Excessive weight puts a lot of pressure on the joints that can cause more pain for obese patients. Consequently, it is hard for them to lose weight due to the limiting pain of osteoarthritis. At a cellular level, fat also contributes to the release of inflammatory proteins that makes OA worse.
Pain treatments for osteoarthritis
Today, there are several medical treatments that can help reduce pain due to OA. Though pain treatments may not entirely cure osteoarthritis, they can restore the active lifestyle of patients by setting them free from pain and preventing further joint damage. These include:
Let Hadi Medical Group help relieve the limiting pain of your osteoarthritis
Aging is inevitable, but delaying aging is optional. If you still have a chance to prevent or delay the damage to your joints, it’s best to start living a healthy and active lifestyle as soon as possible.
However, if you are starting to feel pain in your joints, let our team of doctors who specialize in pain management help and guide you. Hadi Medical Group provides pain management treatments in Brooklyn, Hempstead, Plainview, and Long Beach, NY.
Schedule an appointment now and discover how you can manage pain and still live your best life ahead of you.