Some people do not even realize that the cushioning cartilage in their joints is breaking down leading to more serious symptoms of osteoarthritis. They might feel stiffness or pain in their knees or hips, but they might dismiss this pain as nothing more than just normal pain from getting older.
While it is true that there will be pain in joints that occurs as we get older, many people do not realize that the pain they are experiencing is the onset of OsteoArthritis (OA). Although joint pain is common, this pain can be reduced by a variety of treatment options.
Joints do begin to wear out as we get older. Cartilage breaks down and bones begin to rub together. OA is most commonly found in people who are age 65 or older and who have spent many years using the weight bearing joints in their bodies such as hips, knees, hands and lower back.
OsteoArthritis cannot be cured. There are, however, treatments that can help with the management of the symptoms. Problems can arise when those who begin to experience the pain and stiffness of OA and ignore it. This is the worst thing that can happen. Ignoring the pain will not make it go away. In fact, by choosing not to address it, you could be setting yourself up for a much more serious problem down the road.
Here are some of the most common complications that can occur when OsteoArthritis is left untreated:
- Bone Spurs – As the cartilage in joints breaks down, the bone works to create more surface area to support the weight of our bodies. These new growth on the ends of our bones are known as bone spurs and can be the source of major pain.
- Damaged Tendons and Ligaments – The tendons and ligaments found in joints begin to take on extra pressure and weight to try and make up for the degenerating cartilage. They will be pulled and stretched in ways they were not designed for, which can lead to a decrease in their effectiveness. This can lead to injury and weakened bones.
- Septic Arthritis – This is an infection that forms in joints that can lead to joint deformity. Not only will this deformity inflict pain in the area of the joint, but it is almost impossible to fix without reconstructive surgery.
- Osteonecrosis – When damage to the joint reaches a certain point, it can cause an inadequate flow of blood to the bones in joints. Blood is an important part of the nourishment of bones and without it, bones will weaken, break down and die.
You can avoid these issues by taking on your OsteoArthritis symptoms head on. If you are feeling chronic stiffness or pain in your knees or hips, call Arrowhead Health Centers today to learn more about the programs we offer. We can help you manage the problem effectively. 623-334-4000 option 9.