Tara Rizvi, MD
Rheumatologist located in Katy, TX
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and a frequent cause of disability in men and women middle-aged and older. At Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists in Katy, Texas, board-certified rheumatologist Tara Rizvi, MD, helps you manage the symptoms of this joint disease, including the pain, stiffness, and swelling it causes. For help living with osteoarthritis, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Osteoarthritis Q & A
What is osteoarthritis?
The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is frequently referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis, though the action of the disease is more complicated than your joints simply becoming worn down. However, one aspect of the disease is that your cartilage, the flexible tissue cushioning the ends of your bones, breaks down.
Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, which means it develops slowly and the symptoms get worse over time, especially if left untreated. After your cartilage breaks down, you may experience additional changes to the affected joints. For example, because cartilage can’t heal itself, your body attempts to repair it by growing more bone, resulting in lumps called bone spurs.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
In the early stages of osteoarthritis, you may not have noticeable symptoms. As the disease progresses, however, everyday activities and tasks may become difficult or impossible. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Joint stiffness and pain, which tends to be worst when you first wake up or after resting
- Decreased flexibility, range of motion, and function
- Warm, tender joints
- Clicking, grinding sounds when moving joints
Osteoarthritis is most common in the joints of your hands, spine, hips, knees, and big toes. That’s because those joints get a lot of everyday use, including supporting your weight.
How is osteoarthritis treated?
Osteoarthritis treatment focuses on managing symptoms and slowing or stopping the progression of the disease. There’s no way to reverse the process of the disease, and not all of the joint damage is reversible, it’s still possible to live an active, comfortable life with osteoarthritis.
To treat arthritis, Dr. Rizvi may recommend:
- Losing excess weight, which relieves the strain on your joints
- Medication, including oral pain relievers, topical creams, and joint injections with corticosteroids
- Exercise to build muscle strength, relieve joint stiffness, and reduce the chance of disability
- Physical therapy, including assistive devices like orthotics or a cane, hot and cold therapy, and massage
In severe cases, osteoarthritis may require surgery, including joint replacement. However, with the above approaches, you can often delay or even prevent the need for more invasive treatments.
For help feeling your best with osteoarthritis, call Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists or schedule an appointment with Dr. Rizvi online today.