Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects millions of people around the world. The pain that is often associated with osteoarthritis comes from worn out tissues between various joints. When the cartilage is worn, it causes friction and the bones cannot move fluidly without causing pain. There are several different stages to osteoarthritis. Some people may not progress through all of the stages while others will. Lifestyle changes and early intervention is key to treating and keeping the side effects of osteoarthritis under control.
There are four main stages of osteoarthritis. Some people may experience all four stages and others may never progress past stage one.
This stage of osteoarthritis is very minor. This stage occurs when there is minor wear and tear on the joints, but the patient is not affected with pain nor do they have any changes to their daily activities.
During stage two, patients start noticing stiffness and discomfort. If a provider orders and X-ray, they will be able to see bone spurs.
The area between the joining and the bone is eroded and the cartilage is very thin. Patients often start having inflammatory side effects with stage three. Patients will start noticing they are changing their daily activities to accommodate the joint pain.
The final, most severe and most painful stage of osteoarthritis is stage four. During stage four, the cartilage is almost if not already completely eroded. This causes the joint and bone to have friction causing severe pain.
Those who suffer from osteoarthritis tend to have the majority of the pain in areas where movement is predominant. Joints such as fingers, hands, lower back, knees, neck, and hips are the most common areas patients have discomfort.
Osteoarthritis usually causes the following symptoms:
While there are many risk factors for osteoarthritis, the most common are:
When patients are experiencing joint issues, our providers can run different tests to determine a proper diagnosis and create an individualized treatment plan. Patients can expect imaging like an x-ray or MRI to give their provider a visual of what is going on with the cartilage and joint area. Providers may also choose to run blood tests and perform a joint fluid analysis. The blood test can rule out other causes of joint pain. A joint fluid analysis is a non-invasive procedure where a needle is inserted to draw fluid from the joint. The fluid can then be tested for further evaluation.
Osteoarthritis cannot be cured, however early detection is key in treatment. Earl detection can also prolong the stages and even keep patients from progressing through all four stages. For those eligible for treatment, options may include:
Although osteoarthritis cannot be completely cured, the highly trained staff at HPM will evaluate and develop a treatment plan that will help you find relief and improve your quality of life. If you think you may be suffering from Osteoarthritis, call our nurse hotline. A trained nurse will be able to get you scheduled with one of our providers located closest to you.
We offer an unparalleled patient experience, bringing together the best treatments with the top providers to serve rural areas across the country. Our unique patient-first approach is changing the face of pain management. Our talented medical teams are dedicated to guiding patients to the right treatments and the best plan of care. A customized, detailed treatment plan is created for each and every patient, including all surgical and non-surgical options, to ensure successful outcomes.
Patients may call our Non-Emergency Hotline to speak to one of our Registered Nurses about pain treatment options, or use our HIPAA Compliant eFax: 1.833.923.2295