Pain, stiffness, a locking or grinding in the joint and a loss of mobility are common symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA), a progressively degenerative condition that typically affects people over 50 years of age, although younger people may also experience pain from OA.
As the body ages, the smooth cartilage that covers bone surfaces and enables joints to move easily slowly wears away, decreasing the protective space between the bones, which then rub directly against each other. This “bone on bone” condition can be painful in itself, and can also lead to bone spurs and other related problems. In most people, symptoms develop gradually, but others may notice a sudden onset of pain. OA pain often worsens after periods of rest and inhibits the simple activities of daily living.
Osteoarthritis is generally a normal result of aging, but injury, obesity, a family history of OA or developmental dysplasia of the hip may all be contributing factors. While OA can affect any joint, weight-bearing joints such as the hip are particularly susceptible to pain that may range from mild to extreme, occasional to chronic. OA cannot be reversed or cured, but pain management specialists can offer non-surgical treatments to help reduce pain and increase joint function.