• Osteoarthritis is a progressive, non-inflammatory disease that causes a progressive degeneration of synovial joints.
  • Primarily associated with aging; may also be caused by musculoskeletal injury or conditions that cause repetitive damage to joints.
  • The cartilage at the ends of the long bones and in the intervertebral joints of the spine deteriorates and leaves the ends of the bones or vertebrae rubbing together; this produces a painful, swollen joint or spine.
  • Most common form of degenerative joint disorder.
  • Chronic, NON-systemic disorder of joints.


  • Increased age
  • Obesity
  • Repetitive use of joints with previous joint damage
  • Anatomical deformity
  • Genetic susceptibility


Joint pain

  • caused by:
  1. commonly occurs inflamed cartilage and synovium
  2. stretching of the joint capsule
  3. irritating of nerve endings


  1. commonly occurs in the morning after awakening
  2. last only for less than 30 minutes
  3. decreases with movement, but worsens after increased weight bearing activity d. crepitation may be elicited


  • X-ray
  • narrowing joint space
  • loss of cartilage
  • osteophytes (spurs)


  1. Weight reduction
  2. Occupational and physical therapy
  3. Pharmacologic management
    • Use of NSAIDS
    • Topical analgesics
    • Intra-articular steroids to decrease inflammation


  1. Provide relief of pain.
    • Administer prescribed analgesics.
    • Application of heat modalities. ICE packs maybe used in the early acute stage.
    • Plan daily activities when pain is less severe.
    • Pain medications before exercising.
  2. Advise patient to reduce weight.
    • Aerobic exercises
    • Walking
  3. Administer medications.
    • NSAIDS
      • Mefenamic Acid
      • Ibuprofen
      • Naproxen
      • Endometacin
  4. Position the client to prevent flexion deformity.
    • Use of foot board, splints and pillows.

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