Osteoarthritis: Symptoms

Osteoarthritis symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Think about how you've been feeling lately. Do any of these symptoms match your experience?

Most common OA symptoms:

  • Joint pain. You may feel soreness or pain, either after overuse, normal daily use or inactivity.
  • Joint stiffness. You may experience stiffness after periods of rest, such as when you wake up in the morning. This stiffness usually disappears after moving around a bit.
  • Reduced range of motion and loss of coordination. Difficulty moving due to pain and stiffness can lead to changes in your posture or gait.

Less common OA symptoms:

  • Fatigue. If joint pain keeps you up at night, you may be more likely to experience sleep problems, resulting in fatigue.
  • Local inflammation. Irritated joints can be red and swollen, as well as painful.
  • Crepitus. You may hear crackling or the grinding noise of bone rubbing against bone when you move your arthritic joints.
  • Bone spurs. Bits of bone can grow around the affected joint. They can add to your pain if they break off and float in the joint space.

Report your symptoms to your doctor as they appear or subside. Together, you and your doctor can best manage your disease to help you stay as active and pain-free as possible. Talk to your doctor about how you feel so he or she can find the best way to help.