If you have osteoarthritis (OA), you may have various methods you do to help ease the pain. You may take medication, apply topical creams over your painful joints, even avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, even faithfully following the best-laid plans may still leave you dealing with pain and other OA symptoms. Sometimes other factors can cause a flare-up. Knowing your OA triggers can help you take steps to protect your joints, reduce pain, and slow disease progression.
Osteoarthritis is a disease of the entire joint, meaning the bone, cartilage, ligaments, fat, and the tissues lining the joint (the synovium). OA can degrade cartilage, change bone shape, and cause inflammation. This can result in pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility. It can affect any joint, but commonly affects the hands, knees, hips, lower back, and neck. While OA is more prevalent in adults over 50, it can affect much younger people, too, especially those who have had a prior joint injury.
Since OA is degenerative, it may be hard to tell a flare from disease progression. You might experience an increase in joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. The most common triggers of an OA flare are overdoing an activity or injury to the joint. Other triggers can include:
- Bone spurs
- Repetitive motions
- Cold weather
- Change in barometric pressure
- Weight gain
- Not exercising regularly
Potential New Options for OA of the Knee
Always make sure to talk with your doctor about any worsening symptoms you may be experiencing. They can help determine if the flare is related to a trigger or the result of a mechanical problem. From there, they can work with you to help tweak your lifestyle or treatment plan to prevent further issues.
If you have OA of the knee, clinical research studies may be an option. North Georgia Clinical Research is currently looking for individuals to join enrolling studies looking into potential new options for OA of the knee. To learn more call us at (678) 494-5735 or visit our website today!