Osteoarthritis tends to creep up on you, gradually increasing over months or years. Stiff and painful joints are the main symptoms. The pain tends to be worse on exercising the joint and at the end of the day. Joints tend to be stiff after resting but this usually passes in just a minute or two as the joint gets moving again. A joint may not move as freely or as far as normal, and often 'creaks' or 'cracks' when moved.