This article on Epainassist.com has been reviewed by a medical professional, as well as checked for facts, to assure the readers the best possible accuracy.

We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. Our articles are resourced from reputable online pages. This article may contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The feedback link “Was this Article Helpful” on this page can be used to report content that is not accurate, up-to-date or questionable in any manner.

This article does not provide medical advice.


Why Is Osteoarthritis So Painful & How Bad Can It Get?

Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis and it affects millions of people across the world. The problem mainly takes place whenever the protective cartilage wears down with time, where cartilage is responsible to provide cushions to your bones’ ends. Osteoarthritis damages almost every joint but the disorder mainly affects your spine, hips, hands, and knees.

Even though damages caused to the joints are irreversible, symptoms related to osteoarthritis are easily manageable. You should stay active, maintain a healthy weight and follow a few of the essential treatment procedures to slow the progression of osteoarthritis and to improve the joint function as well as related pain.(1)

Why Is Osteoarthritis So Painful?

Why Is Osteoarthritis So Painful?

OA i.e. osteoarthritis is a type of chronic arthritic disease and it characterizes local tissue damage, pain and attempts to repair tissues. Especially, the problem involves cartilage damage and as cartilage is a type of aneural or avascular tissue, it involves relatively complex pain mechanisms related to osteoarthritis.

Moreover, osteoarthritis-based pain is influenced by non-cartilaginous joint structures, such as bone, synovium, and soft tissue. Imaging studies also highlight the presence of bone marrow lesions and synovitis, which may mediate the pain. After this, the presence of altered cartilage and joint inflammation, along with bone turnover implicates a big role for various molecular mediators in osteoarthritis pain.

Pain mechanisms may even include the release and activation of local pro-inflammatory mediators, like cytokines and prostaglandins accompanied by the tissue destruction mediated via proteases. However, you may even find the disparity between the level of pain perception and the extent of changes in the joint related to Osteoarthritis.

Functional MRI has even identified different areas of the brain, which involved in the processing of osteoarthritis pain. These data highlight various complications related to osteoarthritis pain perception based on local factors as well as the activation of many central pain-processing paths.(3)

How Bad Can Osteoarthritis Get?

Osteoarthritis makes your joint cartilage stiff and in turn, forces it to lose elasticity and makes it highly susceptible to cause damage. With time, the cartilage wears away in various areas to reduce the ability to work as a shock absorber.

Wearing of cartilage causes stretching of ligaments and tendons and thereby, causes pain. If your pain becomes worse or condition becomes worse, the bones rub against one another to cause elevated levels of pain combined with the loss of your physical movement.(4)

Other than cartilage breakdown, osteoarthritis may affect the bone joints completely. It mainly leads to changes in various bones followed by deterioration of connective tissues responsible to hold your joints together, while attaching muscles and bones. The problem also causes joint lining inflammation to make the entire situation worse.(5)

But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.

Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis

Pain is the prime symptom of osteoarthritis and sometimes, osteoarthritis causes stiffness in affected joints. The pain becomes worse if you move the joints for the entire day or at the end of your day. Besides, the joints may become stiff after rest but this wears off in no time once you start moving. You may experience various other symptoms without any strong reason.

Alternatively, you may experience additional symptoms depending on your specific activities. Along with this, osteoarthritis often causes swelling in the affected joints. The swelling may be because of extra bone growth in the finger joints. Secondly, swelling is soft and takes place due to the thickening of the joint lining and the extra amount of fluid within the joints.(2)


To conclude, we should say that a person experiences pain associated with osteoarthritis because of many reasons, while the pain related to osteoarthritis sometimes become worse.


Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 9, 2020

Recent Posts

Related Posts