Conditions We Treat



Sometimes called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints, affecting approximately 27 million Americans. OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.

In normal joints, a firm, rubbery material called cartilage covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint motion, and acts as a cushion between the bones. With OA, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling, and problems moving the joint. As OA worsens over time, bones may break down and develop growths called spurs. Additionally, bits of bone or cartilage may chip off and float around in the joint causing joint pain. In the body, the inflammatory process produces cytokines (proteins) and enzymes that further damage the cartilage. In the final stages of OA, the cartilage wears away and bone rubs directly against bone, leading to joint damage and more pain.


Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary depending on which joints are affected, and how severely they are affected. However, the most common symptoms are pain and stiffness, especially in the morning, or after resting. Affected joints are prone to getting swollen, especially after extended activity. These symptoms tend to build up over time, instead of showing up suddenly. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Sore or stiff joints – particularly the hips, knees, and lower back – after inactivity or overuse
  • Limited range of motion or stiffness that goes away after movement
  • Clicking or cracking sound when a joint bends
  • Mild swelling around a joint
  • Pain that is worse after activity or toward the end of the day


One of the most beneficial ways to manage OA is to get moving. While it may be hard to think of exercise when the joints hurt, moving is considered an important part of the treatment plan. Studies show that simple activities like walking around the neighborhood or taking a fun, easy exercise class can reduce pain and help maintain (or attain) a healthy weight.

Strengthening exercises build muscles around OA-affected joints, easing the burden on those joints, and reducing pain. Range-of-motion exercises help maintain and improve joint flexibility, and reduce stiffness. Aerobic exercise helps to improve stamina and energy levels, and also helps to reduce excess weight. Talk to a doctor before starting an exercise program.

When you come in to visit our office, you will quickly learn that all of our services are aimed to treat the underlying condition you suffer from, and not just the symptoms. Your health and overall well-being are very important to us; if you think we can help, don't hesitate to reach out.