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Your symptoms will also depend on which joints are affected. OA tends to come on slowly, over months or even years. The most common symptoms are pain and stiffness of the joints. These sensations are usually worse with activity initially but can be more constant in later disease. These symptoms may affect your ability to do normal daily activities, such as walking, climbing stairs and opening jars. Other symptoms may include clicking noises, grating sensations, or a loss of flexibility in a joint.

Research shows there are some things that may put you at more risk of developing OA in certain joints, such as:. Your doctor will diagnose OA from your symptoms and a physical examination. An x-ray may show the narrowing and changes in the shape of your joint. However x-rays do not diagnose how much trouble you will have. An x-ray that shows joint damage does not always mean you will have a lot of pain or problems.

On the other hand your joint may be very painful despite x-rays being normal. Blood tests are only helpful to rule out other types of arthritis. The impact of OA on your normal activities and lifestyle depends on which joints are affected. However the outlook for most people with OA is very positive. For many people OA will be mild and not cause major problems.

OA of the hip and knee can sometimes cause severe disability and surgery to replace joints may be necessary. Joint surgery is usually only an option if less invasive treatments, such as weight loss, exercise, and medicines, have failed to control your symptoms.

Clearing Out Old Cells Could Extend Joint Health, Stop Osteoarthritis

Currently, there is no cure for OA. While there are treatments that can effectively control symptoms, you should be wary of products or therapies that claim to cure OA. Treatments for OA vary depending on which joints are affected and the severity of your condition. There is no way of predicting exactly which treatment will work best for you. Each treatment has its own benefits and risks.

Your doctor may need to trial several different treatments before finding the one that is right for you. Your local Arthritis Office has information on physical activity, healthy eating, medicines and surgery. Osteoarthritis - printable information sheet.

Arthritis can happen at any age. Here, you can find management and treatment information specifically created for the more than 6, Australian children living with Arthritis Australia funds research and advocates to improve care, management, support and quality-of-life for people with arthritis. Home What is arthritis? Types of arthritis Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis What is osteoarthritis? OA may include: inflammation of the tissue around a joint damage to joint cartilage — this is the protective cushion on the ends of your bones which allows a joint to move smoothly bony spurs growing around the edge of a joint deterioration of ligaments the tough bands that hold your joint together and tendons cords that attach muscles to bones.

OA can affect any joint but occurs most often in the knees, hips, finger joints and big toe. What are the symptoms? What causes it? Research shows there are some things that may put you at more risk of developing OA in certain joints, such as: knees: being overweight; having a previous knee injury; jobs involving kneeling; climbing and squatting hips: being overweight; having a previous hip injury; jobs involving lifting heavy loads including farming ; a family history of OA hands: a family history of OA; repetitive use or previous injuries to the hands; being overweight. How is it diagnosed?

What will happen to me? Is there a cure for OA? What treatments are there for OA?

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Lumbar arthritis: Symptoms, causes, and diagnosis

In general terms, treatment usually includes: a weight loss program, if you are overweight an exercise program tailored to your condition and ability pain management, using medicines such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs , as well as learning to change the way you think about, and react to, pain devices such as braces, walking sticks, and shoe insoles joint replacement surgery , if your symptoms are no longer controlled with other therapies. What can I do?

See your doctor for treatment and advice. Your doctor will help you get the right treatment to manage your symptoms.


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Learn about OA and play an active role in your treatment. Reliable sources of further information are also listed in the section below. Self management courses aim to help you develop skills to be actively involved in your healthcare. Contact your local Arthritis Office for details of these courses. Learn ways to manage pain.


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  6. Stay active. Exercise is strongly recommended for people with OA. It keeps your joints and muscles healthy and flexible and prevents other health problems. You may find it useful to see a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist for advice. Have a healthy diet. There is no diet that will cure OA, but healthy eating and a diet aimed at maintaining an ideal body weight is recommended.

    Balance your life. Learn about equipment that make daily tasks easier and how to balance rest and activity. Acknowledge your feelings and seek support. As there is currently no cure for OA, it is natural to feel scared, frustrated, sad and sometimes angry. Be aware of these feelings and get help if they start affecting your daily life.

    Osteoarthritis - printable information sheet Download. Discover more Children and arthritis Arthritis can happen at any age. Sign up to Arthritis Insights Regular updates, news and research findings delivered to your inbox: Get the newsletter. Log in Sign up. What is arthritis? Understanding arthritis. Types of arthritis. Areas of the body. Back pain. Fast facts. Managing arthritis. Living with arthritis. Managing at home. Dealing with pain. Physical activity and exercise.

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