It’s estimated that more than 30 million adults in the United States have osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative form of arthritis that affects joint function and health. The team of highly skilled providers at Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic in Cullman, Alabama, provides comprehensive care for their patients with osteoarthritis. To get help with your joint pain, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA), also called degenerative joint disease, is a type of arthritis that develops slowly over time as the cartilage that separates the bones in a joint wears down.

Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that reduces friction between bones and acts as a shock absorber. Most of the joints in your body are movable joints, allowing you to walk, lift, throw, and type.

The daily wear-and-tear on your joints causes cartilage degeneration leading to OA. Without the cushion between your bones, you may experience joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

OA most often affects the hands, knees, hips, neck, and lower back.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

OA symptoms vary depending on the joint involved and the degree of degeneration. Common symptoms include:

  • Joint pain during movement
  • Joint stiffness first thing in the morning
  • Joint swelling
  • Limited joint movement
  • Joint instability

Currently, there’s no cure for OA, and it gets worse over time. However, early diagnosis and treatment may help delay the progression of the disease.

What tests do I need to diagnose osteoarthritis?

There’s no single test to diagnose OA. The team at Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic conducts a comprehensive evaluation when you come in with concerns about joint pain and stiffness.

Your provider asks detailed questions about your symptoms and when they started, reviews your medical history, and performs a physical exam. They also order lab tests to rule out other causes that might explain your symptoms and run X-rays to look at your joint.

Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic has on-site labs and X-rays for your convenience.

What are some of the treatments for osteoarthritis?

Treatment for your OA depends on the severity of your symptoms. If you have mild to moderate symptoms, your provider at Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic may recommend medical treatments such as:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • At-home exercise program
  • Cold and heat therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Weight loss
  • Braces, orthotics, or other support devices
  • Joint injections

If you have severe pain from your OA that affects your quality of life, the Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic team may refer you to a surgeon to discuss surgical options like joint replacement.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition. Get help now by calling Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic or scheduling an appointment online today.