What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, or OA, is the oldest and most common form of arthritis. Also called degenerative joint disease this arthritis is due to “wear and tear” of your joints and bones. In OA, the cartilage or cushion between joints breaks down leading to pain, stiffness and swelling. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, spine, small joints of the fingers, and the base of the thumb and big toe.
Risk factors for OA include being overweight, joint injury, muscle weakness, having other forms of arthritis, and having family members (parents, grandparents) who have had arthritis. OA can be a serious condition, but it is treatable – most people do improve with treatment. Getting a correct diagnosis and working with your doctor to design the best treatment plan is important.