Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, especially among older people. It is a joint disease caused by the breakdown of cartilage – the firm, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at joints. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide over one another and cartilage absorbs energy from the shock of physical movement. In OA cartilage breaks down and wears away. As a result, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. OA may also limit the range of motion in affected joints. Most often, OA develops in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. The disease affects men and women nearly equally. More than 20 million people in the United States have OA. Symptoms tend to appear when individuals are in their 50s and 60s.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of OA may include the following:

  • Joint pain (often a deep, aching pain) that is worsened by movement and improved with rest (in more severe cases, a person may experience constant pain)
  • Stiffness in the morning or after being inactive for more than 15 minutes
  • Joint swelling
  • Joints that are warm to the touch
  • Crunching or crackling noise when the joint moves (crepitation)
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Abnormal growth of bony knobs near joints causing deformities (such as Heberden’s nodes, in which bumps appear on the outermost finger joints)


Osteoarthritis is also often called degenerative joint disease because this condition involves the destruction of cartilage, which normally protects the joint. Although there are risk factors that may predispose a person to developing OA, it is usually not entirely clear what initiates the damage and loss of cartilage. Once the cartilage becomes somewhat damaged, however, it is more likely for further injury to ensue from repetitive use or another injury. Less commonly, OA is due to a fracture, mechanical abnormalities (such as unequal lower limb lengths), other bone and joint disease (such as gout), or an underlying metabolic or hormonal disorder.

Integrative Medicine Treatment Options

We combine the best of conventional medicine with the best of complementary and alternative therapies to give you optimal results.

Here are some options we use at Alliance Integrative Medicine LOCATED IN Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Prolotherapy
  • Herbal Therapies, Supplements & Medication
  • Mind/Body Relaxation Techniques
  • Energy Healing
  • Medical Massage Therapy
  • Frequency Specific Microcurrent

Our osteoarthritis patients come to us from Mason, Indian Hill, Hyde Park, Loveland and Westchester/Liberty Township as well as Terrace Park, Blue Ash, Finneytown, Reading, Springdale and from locations all over the U.S.