Similar to other diseases, early diagnosis of osteoarthritis is the key to successful treatment. Any pain in the joints, occurring when the joint is moved and, moreover, at rest signal a need to consult with your physician. Modern diagnostic tools enable early detection of osteoarthritis and increase the chances of successful treatment by an order of value. The nature of pain in the joint can let the physician judge about the extent of the lesion. It is not by accident that pains during physical exertion or at rest, at night, or by palpation are listed as the main symptoms of osteoarthritis. The pain that occurs under physical load and is not experienced at rest is usually an early sign of the manifest osteoarthritis. Later the pain in the affected joint (joints) appears not only at the beginning of the load (starting pain), but also at rest and at night, becoming permanent.
Important symptoms are morning stiffness in the affected joint ("gelling phenomenon") or a pain experienced after any rest, lasting no more than half an hour, as well as restricted mobility of the joint or a sense of instability.
Other signs of the disease progression that usually draw attention include a growing functional restraints reaching a stage when only partial flexion and extension of the affected joint is possible, a sense of insecurity and instability.
Attention! Modern methods of diagnosis (x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound) used to diagnose osteoarthritis, provide the most reliable information on the phase of the disease. Accurate diagnosis without the findings of these studies is unlikely, even for a highly qualified physician. The most common practice is diagnosis based on a combination of two or more studies.