Osteoarthritis—Risks and Treatment Options

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a chronic, degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage between the joints wears down overtime, causing the bones of the joints to rub closely against one another. This can result in pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased mobility, and, in more extreme cases, bone spur formation. The most common cause of osteoarthritis is age, but there are a number of factors that contribute to osteoarthritis, including heredity, sex, weight, repetitive stress injuries, and illnesses.

Risk Factors of Osteoarthritis:

  • Age: Older adults are at higher risk
  • Obesity
  • Previous injury
  • Overuse
  • Family history


  • Pain during physical activity
  • Swelling
  • Warm to the touch over joint
  • Decreased mobility
  • Creaking or crackling sound with movement

Treatment Options:

  • Anti-inflammatory pain medication
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical and occupational therapies
  • Strength exercises

When is surgery considered for the effects of osteoarthritis?

Joint replacement surgery, especially in the hips or knees, can be an option for people who have joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. If the symptoms of osteoarthritis, affect your daily life, it may be time to speak to a doctor about your treatment options.