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Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

OA often affects joints in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. It can affect any joint. OA can occur in one joint or many. It can often be on one side of the body more than the other. Some people have symptoms that get worse. Others have symptoms that stay the same.

Common problems are:

  • Joint pain that is worse with activity and gets better with rest
  • Swelling
  • A grating or creaking sound when moving the joint
  • Joint stiffness
  • Problems moving


  • Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed August 24, 2021.
  • Osteoarthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/osteoarthritis. Accessed August 24, 2021.
  • Osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/osteoarthritis-oa-of-the-hip. Accessed August 24, 2021.
  • Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/osteoarthritis-oa-of-the-knee. Accessed August 24, 2021.


  • Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.