Osteoarthritis (OA)

 

It is the most common type of arthritis. It is also known as:

  • degenerative joint disease
  • degenerative arthritis
  • wear-and-tear arthritis OA is a disease of aging.

Other risk factors for OA include:

  • obesity
  • a job that puts stress on the joints
  • joint injury
  • joint malformation

Causes and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

OA is caused by a breakdown in the cartilage that covers the joints. The protective tissue is damaged by age and repeated motion. This increases the friction as the bones of the joint rub against each other. It can also cause damage to the bone.

The most common symptoms of OA are pain and stiffness. OA can occur in any joint. However, the most commonly affected joints are in the:

  • hands
  • knees
  • hips
  • spine

Over time, OA can cause:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • stiffness
  • limited range of motion

OA is different than Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is an autoimmune disorder. The body’s immune system attacks joint tissue. This leads to swelling and pain.

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