Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage between bones degenerates over time. It is caused by abnormal joint alignment, joint dysfunction, and wear-and-tear.
While osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips. Left untreated osteoarthritis gradually worsens with time, but arthritis treatments can slow the progression of the disease, relieve pain, and improve joint function.
Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Pain: Your joint may hurt during or after movement.
- Tenderness: Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.
- Stiffness: Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Loss of mobility: You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
- Grinding and cracking: You may hear or feel grinding and cracking in your joints.
- Bone spurs: Bones spurs and calcium deposits may feel like hard lumps and may form around the affected joint.
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Osteoarthritis of the spine is a breakdown of the cartilage of the joints and discs in the neck and lower back. This produces spurs that put pressure on the nerves leaving the spine. Many times this can cause weakness, numbness, and pain in the arms or legs.
At The Functional Medicine Center we offer a holistic and integrated approach to arthritis involving Functional Medicine and Physical Medicine treatments.