Individuals suffering from Osteoarthritis may be severely affected by fatigue. Fatigue is a condition of extreme exhaustion and depleted motivation that disrupts normal daily activity. Fatigue should not be confused with a general feeling of tiredness or sleepiness. Fatigue usually is experienced for longer periods of time and it may persist after periods of rest. Fatigue is recognized as a symptom of chronic disorders and diseases. Some arthritic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are considered chronic but Osteoarthritis is not. Osteoarthritis has not received the attention it deserves in regards to this overwhelming side effect.
A study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, probed into the misconception that Osteoarthritis does not cause fatigue. They found that 40% of the Osteoarthritis population is suffering from fatigue symptoms. The research participants described their fatigue as, “debilitating and occasionally activity restricting.” Fatigue is both physically and emotionally draining, and those involved in the study felt that it altered their mental state. The participants agreed that pain, medications, and even the weather could stimulate the onset of fatigue.
Shockingly, a majority of those involved in the study admitted that they had only told their spouse of their fatigue. They did not speak to their doctors about how the fatigue was affecting them. This may be why fatigue is not believed to affect Osteoarthritis and why there is such a lack of research dedicated to it. It is vitally important to tell your doctor about any symptoms you experience with your Osteoarthritis. They will try to help you in any way possible. Fatigue is the first complaint of all chronic disorders. They should know how to best help your health.