Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

In some cases, osteoarthritis is asymptomatic (i.e., does not cause symptoms) and the disease is diagnosed incidentally upon x-ray. Symptoms of the disease, which range from mild to severe, often develop gradually over time.

Joint pain and stiffness are common signs of osteoarthritis, especially following periods of inactivity (e.g., in the morning) and periods of overuse. Pain often is described as a deep ache and is confined to the affected joint (called localized pain). As the disease progresses, pain may become persistent, often interfering with sleep.

Publication Review By: John J. Swierzewski, D.P.M.

Published: 31 May 2006

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2015