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Osteoarthritis: causes, symptoms and treatment

Osteoarthritis (OA) is also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis, or wear-and-tear arthritis. It is a joint condition that appears over time and is the most common form of arthritis. It generally occurs in older adults, but can also be caused by injuries or as a consequence of obesity.

Arthritis and osteoarthritis are commonly confused since both are common in both men and women, and both cause pain and affect one or more joints. However, these are different diseases. Osteoarthritis occurs in 10% of men over 60 years of age, while in women it reaches 13%.

What is osteoarthritis and what are its causes?

It is a joint disease where the tissues of the affected joint deteriorate over time. It generally affects older adults more, since it appears more commonly over the years.

Joints are the components of the skeleton that allow the connection between two bones and, therefore, movement. Cartilage, which contains collagen and protects the ends of bones, tends to wear down over the years, making movement difficult. It can cause damage to any joint, with those in the hands, knees, hips, and spine being the most common.

For this reason, it is essential to have supplements that have Bioactive collagen peptides to reduce loss.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. These include:

  • Pain: joint pain with every movement. Affected joints may bother during or after.
  • Loss of flexibility: It may not be possible to move the joint through its full range of motion.
  • Touch sensitivity: The joint may be tender when you apply a little pressure on or near it.
  • Swelling and inflammation: Swelling may occur due to inflammation of the surrounding soft tissues.
  • Rigidity: It is most noticeable when waking up or after being inactive.
  • Feeling of friction in the joint: There may be a noisy sensation when moving the joint.
  • Osteophytes: Extra pieces of bone form around the affected joint.

Types of osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis:

It is the most common type of OA. It can be classified in two ways:

  • Primary knee osteoarthritis: It is related to aging and genetics. It is linked to the wear and tear of the different parts that make up the knee.
  • Secondary knee osteoarthritis: It usually occurs due to a previous injury, such as fractures or ligament injuries. It affects athletes and people who are overweight more.
  • Cervical osteoarthritis or cervicoarthrosis:

    It occurs when the cartilage of the joints of the cervical spine is injured or degenerates. It is more common in people over 50 years of age. Sometimes it does not cause symptoms so it can go unnoticed.

Cervical osteoarthritis or cervicoarthrosis:

It occurs when the cartilage of the joints of the cervical spine is injured or degenerates. It is more common in people over 50 years of age. Sometimes it does not cause symptoms so it can go unnoticed.

Hand osteoarthritis:

It is the second most common type of osteoarthritis. It is very visible as it can deform the fingers, affecting writing. Its functionality may be affected, causing the joint to be slightly flexed or deviated.

Hip arthrosis:

It affects the upper part of the leg. Its fundamental symptom is pain that is located in the groin and in the internal part of the muscle. Sometimes the discomfort can be reflected in the knee.

Lumbar osteoarthritis:

It occurs when the cartilage in the joints of the lumbar spine is injured or degenerates. In most cases there is no specific cause, which is why it is considered to appear due to genetic and environmental factors. The most common symptom is pain when moving or overloading the lower back, which improves with rest.

Causes of osteoarthritis

Cartilage, the firm, elastic tissue that protects the bones in the joints, allows them to slide over each other. When it breaks or wears down, bones rub together, causing osteoarthritis pain, swelling, and stiffness. As it progresses, bone spurs or additional bone may form around the joint, causing the ligaments and muscles around the joint to become stiffer and weaker.

Other causes of osteoarthritis are:

Inheritance: it is usually a disease that can be inherited between family members. According to studies, there is a 50% to 65% chance that members of a family will inherit OA.

Overweight: Being overweight increases the risk of OA in the hip, knee, ankle and foot joints. This is because the extra weight causes more wear and tear.

Sports: practicing them involves an impact on the joints. Twisting or throwing increases the risk of osteoarthritis.

Fractures: Some fractures or joint injuries can lead to OA.

Bleeding disorders: disorders such as hemophilia (condition where blood is slow to clot), which cause bleeding in the joint.

How is osteoarthritis diagnosed?

To diagnose a patient with osteoarthritis, the appropriate doctor must perform a clinical examination, where he can check the affected joint and thus detect tenderness, inflammation, redness or the state of flexibility. In order to obtain images of the joint, x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be performed.

  • RM: An MRI is not usually necessary to diagnose osteoarthritis, but it helps provide more information in complex cases.
  • X-rays: Cartilage does not appear on x-rays, however, cartilage loss is revealed by the narrowing of the space between the bones of the joint.

After the images are taken, laboratory tests (blood or joint fluid) help confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for osteoarthritis

Treatments for osteoarthritis depend greatly on its phase and the age of the patient. This disease cannot be reversed, however, pain can be reduced and mobility improved.

For each stage of osteoarthritis, a different treatment is recommended to relieve symptoms. Some of the treatments used are:



Helps with exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joint, increase flexibility again, and reduce pain. This treatment is usually for acute osteoarthritis.

occupational therapy

Helps you discover the best ways to do everyday tasks without putting stress on the affected joint.


Bioactive collagen peptides

Medicines that contain this substance improve the condition of bones and joints, since hydrolyzation maintains the amino acids of collagen, and eliminates unwanted materials.


Medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium often relieve osteoarthritis pain. Like physical therapy, these benefit in case of acute osteoarthritis.


Helps patients affected with moderate pain. It is important to take the amount recommended by the doctor.


This medication is approved to treat chronic pain, such as osteoarthritis.

Nutritional supplement

Auxiliary for muscle and joint problems Garlic and omega Reuma Artri 100% natural, with reinforced ingredients such as king garlic, shark cartilage, arnica, among others, which have important health benefits. This natural product helps reduce joint and muscle pain.

Surgeries and injections:

Hyaluronic acid

In a second stage, injections can relieve pain. Cartilage worn over the years is regenerated with the help of hyaluronic acid and even chondroitin.

Bone realignment

An osteotomy may be helpful when the knee is severely damaged on one side more than the other.


If the patient is in stage 3, the damage is usually serious, so they must undergo surgery. Arthroplasty is joint replacement surgery, where the surgeon removes damaged joint surfaces and replaces them with metal or plastic parts.

It is important to go to the doctor

When you experience persistent pain or stiffness in your joints. However, it is advisable to see a primary care doctor when you notice the slightest pain. He will be in charge of directing the patient to a specialist in joint disorders (rheumatologist). In this way, if you suffer from osteoarthritis, you can prevent the increase in stage and treat it immediately with the appropriate medications and supplements.


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