Symptoms of osteoarthritis include the following:

  • Pain in the joint
    • Most commonly affected joints are those of the knees, hips, hands, or spine.
    • Pain usually increases when the joint is used or stressed.
    • Pain is usually decreased by resting the joint.
    • May be described as a dull, achy pain or a sharper, stabbing sensation.
  • Stiffness
    • Stiffness can make everyday activities difficult, such as leaning down to pick something up, putting on shoes, opening a jar, walking, or climbing stairs.
    • Stiffness occurs first thing in the morning is common, usually lasting under 30 minutes after you resume activity.
    • Stiffness after any period of inactivity is common (such as after sitting still for a couple of hours in a movie theater or on an airplane).
    • Stiffness decreases your range of motion, so that you can’t bend or unbend a joint as far as you normally could.
  • You may have a feeling of instability in the joint. For example, your knee may feel as if it is going to buckle underneath you.
  • You may feel or hear a grating or creaking sound when you bend or unbend your joint.
  • Your joint may develop an abnormal appearance:
    • It may appear inflamed, red, swollen.
    • It may appear misaligned or misshapen.