UNDERSTANDING ARTHRITIS

Osteoarthritis

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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the U.S and is often referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Patients  with OA are mostly affected in the hands, hips and knees — experiencing pain, aching, stiffness, decreased range of motion and swelling.

Estimated to affect more than 30 million people in the U.S.,  this equals almost 1 in every 10 people dealing with the painful effects of osteoarthritis. 

As a degenerative joint disease, over time, causes inflammation and loss of cartilage in the joints and causes inflexibility, pain and stiffness, which is primarily felt in weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips and spine. It can, however, occur in any joint. Unlike systemic, autoimmune forms of arthritis (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis), Osteoarthritis does NOT affect organs in the body.

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Osteoarthritis

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Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Pain or aching
  • Loss of flexibility and/or decreased range of motion
  • Grating sensation
  • Bone spurs – extra bits of bone around the affected joint

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis usually occurs gradually over time. Risk factors include:  

  • Being overweight 
  • Getting older 
  • Joint injury 
  • Joints not properly formed
  • Genetic defect in joint cartilage 
  • Stresses on the joints from paying sports, or even certain jobs.


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