What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. It is also known rheumatoid arthritis. It is the most common chronic condition of the joints.  It impacts roughly 27 million Americans.  Osteoarthritis can affect any joint; however, it commonly happens in hips, knees, lower back and neck joints.

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Cartilage provides a gliding surface for joint movement and it functions as a cushion between the bones.  In osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down, causing swelling, pain and difficulties at the joint.  Since osteoarthritis worsens over time, bones break down and create growths.  Within the body, an inflammatory process happens and cytokines (proteins) and enzymes create further damage to the cartilage.  At the last stages of osteoarthritis, the cartilage wears away and bone rubs against bone resulting in joint damage and pain.

Statistics Show That:

  • One in two adults have symptoms of knee OA throughout their lifetimes.
  • One in four adults may have symptoms of hip OA by age 85.
  • One in 12 individuals develop have hand OA by the age of 60.

Who Is Affected?

Though osteoarthritis occurs in all types of people, there are certain things that increase your risk factors.  Risk factors include:

  • Older age – Your risk increases after the age of 65
  • Sex – Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Injuries increase chances of osteoarthritis
  • Stress on the joint – If you have repeated stress on certain joints you are more likely to develop osteoarthritis
  • Genetics – Some people are predisposed because of their genes
  • Certain Metabolic Diseases – Some diseases that are predisposed are diabetes and hemochromatosis
  • Obesity – Having extra body weight increases your risk
  • Bone deformities – Some people are born with defective cartilage and malformed joints

Osteoarthritis is a serious degenerative disease.  Overtime the disease worsens and results in chronic pain. Individuals suffer from joint pain and stiffness that can make daily tasks difficult to do.


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