Recognizing and treating osteoarthritis

September 25, 2018 - 3:30 am

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- One of the most important structures in our body is cartilage. It is not something we think of until we have a problem with it. Cartilage actually acts like a cushioning surface in the body and when it's damaged a person can actually have areas of a joint where bone rubs against bone. 

The condition is called osteoarthritis, and it is a condition that can affect many people as they get older. It often happens in the knee. The most common symptom is, not surprisingly, pain. In addition, with activity, there is a limited range of motion, stiffness, tenderness, and swelling around the knee. Often, people will say they feel as if the knee is going to give out. 

Medication can help, as well as physical therapy. Exercise and weight loss can make a big difference, as can sports which are less traumatic. Those less traumatic sports are swimming or those with less pounding on the joints.