5 Early Signs Of Osteoarthritis – And What You Can Do About Them

Live long enough and chances are you’ll suffer from some form of Osteoarthritis (OA), which is when degenerative joint pain is caused by wear and tear on your joints. As we age, the cartilage that cushions joints begins to wear down. This causes the bones to rub together and leads to inflammation of the joints. That equals pain.


OA affects the joints in the arms and legs most, but can also include fingers, wrists, knees, ankles and hips. The lower back is also a common culprit of OA pain and discomfort.

What are the early warning signs of OA? Here are 5 of them.

1. General aches and pains. The pain of early arthritis can be classified in pain and tenderness. There might also be a sharper pain when moving your affected joint in a certain way, such as when opening a jar with arthritic fingers. The discomfort you feel when pressing down on the joint is tenderness. It can include visible swelling in the area of the joint.

2. Joint Stiffness. Following right behind joint stiffness is joint pain. Stiffness is normal doctors say, when you first wake up and step out of bed or have been sitting at your desk for hours at a time. It’s also a sign of early OA. Feeling sluggish and having that “wooden” feeling is another. People with arthritis often start to feel better once they have warmed up their joints through some gentle exercise or even just going about their daily chores.

3. Those who feel abnormal sensations also fall into this category. Cartilage is meant to be a shock absorber that helps joints move smoothly. Once that cartilage wears down, the bones rub against bones and that’s where the abnormal sensations arise. You might also feel – or hear – your joints clicking or cracking when you move.

4. Flexibility loss. If you are in the early stages of arthritis you may notice that moving the affected areas is not as easy anymore. Joint stiffness and pain has a lot to do with loss of flexibility. This is also called a loss of range of motion. The extent to which you can move your joints in their normal patterns are how you explain you range of motion. Bending or extending your knee is the range of motion. Arthritis sufferers might not be able to bend their knee as far.
5. If timing becomes an issue, it might be OA. Pain, tenderness and joint stiffness tend to be limited to very specific times, at least in the early stages. For instance, after sitting at a sporting event, your hip might hurt. Or the back is stiff the next day. As arthritis progresses, you might have achy joints even when you’re at rest.



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