Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of the joints, the most common form of arthritis. It is also known as degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis. Osteoarthritis is most likely to develop in people aged over 45 years, but it can occur in younger people too.
When two bones meet at a joint they are normally protected by cartilage which cushions the ends of the bones and help them glide smoothly over each other. In OA however, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain and stiffness in the joint. OA can affect any joint but is most common in knees, hips, lower back and neck, and finger joints.
Symptoms of OA may vary from person to person, but the more common symptoms are stiffness, joint pain and muscle weakness.
There is no cure for OA, but the condition can be managed with exercise, weight loss, medications and in some cases surgery. Exercise and movement is very important in the management of OA in order to keep the joints mobile as well as to maintain and improve joint function.
If you are experiencing joint pain, see your doctor for diagnosis and to discuss treatment option