Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis affecting up to 30 million Americans. This condition refers to inflammation in the joints that occurs as a person ages. As joints become irritated and inflamed as cartilage surrounding the joints breaks down, it becomes more difficult to participate in certain activities. 

The exact cause of arthritis is unknown, and it is difficult to explain why some individuals are more likely to develop this condition than others. Regardless of the cause, it is important to treat arthritis early on to prevent it from worsening. If you are experiencing symptoms similar to osteoarthritis, or if you are interested in learning about preventative measures, allow this guide to help you begin. 

Causes of Osteoarthritis

The number one cause of osteoarthritis is the natural aging process. Over time, our bodies dry out and become more brittle. This is especially true of the protective cartilage and synovial fluid that allows for smooth joint motion. These layers can eventually wear down to the point where the bone surfaces of joints are exposed, causing a high degree of friction. 

Although almost anyone can develop osteoarthritis, there are some factors that might make one more susceptible to developing osteoarthritis. 

  • Poor posture or body mechanics
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking
  • Eating an inflammatory diet
  • Living a sedentary life

By practicing a healthy lifestyle and avoiding activities that place extra stress on the hips, patients can slow the forces that lead to osteoarthritis. 


Healthcare professionals will typically begin treating patients through conservative methods. Common options may include

  • Periods of rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Anti-inflammatory diet

If patients experiment with different treatment options and they have been ineffective, they may be a candidate for surgery. If you are interested in learning more about BEST Health System’s surgical procedures, our team is happy to walk you through your options. 


Since osteoarthritis is a progressive condition, patients will often experience some degree of discomfort or limited ability over time. Patients with osteoarthritis may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Stiffness or reduced range of motion
  • Locking or sticking in the joint
  • Aches and pains
  • Cracking, popping, and grinding in the joint
  • Weather-related symptoms, including increased discomfort during rain showers


When meeting with a doctor to receive a diagnosis regarding your joint pain, you should expect to experience the following diagnostic steps:

  • Questions regarding specific symptoms
  • Review of personal and family history
  • Physical examination and movement tests
  • Diagnostic imagery, such as an MRI

As soon as an individual experiences symptoms relating to osteoarthritis, they should meet with a medical professional to ensure that their condition does not worsen with time. If arthritis is caught early on, there are more treatment options available that will be more effective. 

Reach out to BEST Health System!

If you’re living with osteoarthritis, call BEST Health System today. Our highly skilled medical team will help you develop a personalized treatment plan to get you back to the people and activities you love as soon as possible.

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