Can Osteoarthritis Lead To Crippling & Immobility?

Osteoarthritis can have serious effects if not diagnosed and treated on time. Learn its risk factors, symptoms, and the preventive measures you can take.

Anju Mobin - Writer for Trim Down Club
By Anju Mobin
Nevena Radulović - Editor for Trim Down Club
Edited by Nevena Radulović

Updated December 12, 2022.

A middle-aged blonde woman hunched over on her bed holding her hand on her lower back indicating pain

As opposed to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of arthritis in which the tissues in your joints wear down over time and the bones start rubbing against each other. This causes debilitating pain and can leave you crippled and immobile if left untreated.

» How to recognize arthritis: see the early signs of rheumatoid arthritis

Symptoms of Crippling Osteoarthritis

Although not everyone will experience severe osteoarthritis in the same way, some common symptoms of crippling osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain in the affected joints
  • Stiffness, especially after a period of inactivity
  • Joint tenderness
  • Grating sensation in the joints
  • Clicking or popping sounds from the joints
  • Redness and swelling around the joints
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Buckling or joint instability

Risk Factors of Crippling Osteoarthritis

While rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease, osteoarthritis is the result of mechanical wear and tear of the joints. There are many factors that increase the risk of OA:

  • Advancing age: OA symptoms are more common in those over the age of 50
  • Joint injury: such as bone fractures, ligament tears, or damaged cartilage
  • Overuse of the same joints: in an occupation or a sport
  • Being overweight: adds more stress and pressure on a joint
  • Weak muscles: don't support the joints correctly, causing poor alignment and eventually leading to OA
  • Gender: women are at higher risk of OA compared to men
  • Musculoskeletal abnormalities
  • Genetics

Preventative Measures for Crippling Osteoarthritis

Even if you're genetically inclined towards OA, you can still take some preventive measures. If you've been diagnosed with OA, the following measures can relieve pain and enhance mobility:

  • Regular exercise
  • Anti-inflammatory foods and supplements
  • Maintaining a healthy range of motion to keep the joints flexible
  • Weight reduction to take the stress off the joints
  • Controlling blood sugar to reduce weight gain and inflammation
  • Maintaining a good posture to reduce the stress on the joints
  • Protecting the joints during activities and in cold weather
  • Reducing stress and finding ways to relax and recharge

» Arthritis remedies: learn whether systemic enzyme therapy works

Bottom Line

Osteoarthritis can be a crippling disease if not diagnosed and treated on time. However, with the right remedial measure, you can still enjoy an active lifestyle even if you have osteoarthritis. By protecting your joints, regularly exercising, and paying attention to what you eat, you can reduce the risk of becoming immobile due to osteoarthritis.

» Reduce the risk of arthritis symptoms by avoiding the wrong foods for arthritis