What are the initial signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA)?

Updated: Oct 12, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Pain is usually the initial source of morbidity in osteoarthritis, with the disease’s primary symptom being deep, achy joint pain exacerbated by extensive use. Also, reduced range of motion and crepitus are frequently present. Stiffness during rest (gelling) may develop, with morning joint stiffness usually lasting for less than 30 minutes.

Initially, pain can be relieved by rest and may respond to simple analgesics. However, joints may become unstable as the osteoarthritis progresses; therefore, the pain may become more prominent (even during rest) and may not respond to medications.

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