What is Osteoarthritis?

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


Osteoarthritis is estimated to affect over 30 million people in the Unites States alone,* this equals almost 1 in every 10 people dealing with the painful effects of arthritis. The sheer number of people demonstrates why we need more research funding devoted to finding an arthritis cure.


As a degenerative joint disease, OA over time, causes inflammation and loss of cartilage in the joints. OA causes inflexibility, pain and stiffness, and 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.

What is 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
Osteoarthritis and Aging

Aging is commonly associated with osteoarthritis, but it is not a foregone conclusion in every person’s life. There are hundreds of thousands of people in their 80s and 90s who suffer no ill affects from arthritis or osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis often results from previous injuries or trauma to one’s bones or joints but, while many former athletes struggle with Osteoarthritis, it can just as easily occur in a person who led a sedentary lifestyle. To date, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, and symptoms progress over time.

Mobility with Osteoarthritis

When dealing with osteoarthritis, mobility and activity are actually key ingredients to managing its symptoms. There are also a number of medications and therapies to help with the inflammation and pain osteoarthritis brings. In fact, in the United States alone, tens of millions of dollars are devoted annually to keeping osteoarthritis at bay. Be sure to discuss your health and treatments with your doctor.

Importance of OA Research

While osteoarthritis may seem to be a somewhat accepted and common in many people’s lives, arthritis researchers everywhere are determined to find a way to put a permanent stop to its aches and pains.


For more than four decades, the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) has been awarding research grants to scientists who are devoted to getting to the root of osteoarthritis and we have not found a cure. One of the keys lies in safeguarding and preserving joint cartilage so that it remains impervious to OA’s attack.


Research is progressing quickly and because of new technology the first ever OA treatments are in clinical trials. We need to keep supporting research until a cure is found.

Because of your charitable donations to the ANRF, numerous grants to researchers in osteoarthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, related autoimmune diseases have been given. ANRF is committed to getting your donations to the researchers as 91 cents of every dollar goes toward this important arthritis research. Be sure to follow our research progress and remain updated on the most recent findings and treatments at CureArthritis.org/Arthritis-Research today.


*statistics from the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, www.CDC.gov

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