Osteoarthritis is the ‘wear and tear’ we all gradually sustain to our joint surfaces. Trauma can accelerate this but unfortunately the thinning of the cartilage surface happens anyway.
The pain is usually felt along the joint line, often the inside, and is a deep ache with sharp pain when particularly irritated. There can be swelling and more than usual clicks and grinds from the joint surface. It can get to the point where it is hard to take weight but this is usually when it is bone on bone in the advanced stages.
The key to treating this is to get it looked at early. ‘Wear and tear’ is commonly due to you overloading one particular part of the joint. For example, the knee cap can run off to the side and alter the pressure on the cartilage surface, or the knee can roll inwards overloading the inner part of the joint. Resolving these issues means you offload the area and reduce the ongoing wear as well as reduce the pain.
There is a lot that we can do to help with this offloading process as well as the range and stiffness in the joint. Combine this with a specific strength program and you have the best chance to improve the joint outside of a replacement.