What is Osteoarthritis?

People who aren't helped by medications for osteoarthritis pain sometimes turn to complementary and alternative medicine practices for relief. Mainstream doctors are becoming more open to discussing these options. But, since few complementary therapies have been extensively studied in clinical trials, it's difficult to assess whether these treatments are helpful for osteoarthritis pain. In some cases, the risks of these treatments aren't known.

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Also known as oa, Osteoarthrosis, djd, degenerative joint disease, Degenerative Arthritis, Osteoarthrosis Deformans, Osteoarthroses
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Osteoarthritis information from trusted sources:

About Osteoarthritis - Symptoms - Treatment - Diagnosis - Causes ...

Nov 21, 2010 ... Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. Information on osteoarthritis symptoms, treatment, diagnosis, causes, risk factors ...

NIHSeniorHealth: Osteoarthritis - Table of contents

Oct 23, 2003 ... Osteoarthritis. Table of Contents. What Is Osteoarthritis? Causes and Risk Factors · Symptoms and Diagnosis · Treatment and Research ...

Read more on nihseniorhealth.gov

Osteoarthritis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of ...

Read more on en.wikipedia.org

Osteoarthritis of the Hip - Your Orthopaedic Connection - AAOS

Like other joints that carry your weight, your hips may be at risk for "wear and tear" arthritis (osteoarthritis), the most common form of the disease. ...

Read more on orthoinfo.aaos.org

osteoarthritis - definition of osteoarthritis in the Medical ...

Osteoarthritis (OA), which is also known as osteoarthrosis or degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a progressive disorder of the joints caused by gradual ...


Osteoarthritis is not a single disease but rather the end result of a variety of disorders leading to the structural or functional failure of 1 or more of your joints. Osteoarthritis involves the entire joint including the nearby muscles, underlying bone, ligaments, joint lining (synovium), and the joint cover (capsule). Osteoarthritis also involves an advancing loss of cartilage. The cartilage tries to repair itself, the bone remodels, the underlying (subchondral) bone hardens, and bone cyst form. This process has several phases. The stationary phase of disease progression in osteoarthritis involves the formation of osteophytes or joint space narrowing. Osteoarthritis progresses further with obliteration of the joint space. The appearance of subchondral cysts (cysts in the bone underneath the cartilage) indicates the erosive phase of disease progression in osteoarthritis. The last phase in the disease progression involves bone repair and remodeling. Definitions Joint cartilage is a layer of tissue present at the joint surfaces that sustains joint loading and allows motion. It is gel-like, porous, and elastic. Normal cartilage provides a durable, low-friction, load-bearing surface for joints. Articular surface is the area of the joint where the ends of the bones meet, or articulate, and function like a ball bearing. Bone remodeling is a process in which damaged bone attempts to repair itself. The damage may occur from either an acute injury or as the result of chronic irritation such as that found in osteoarthritis. Collagen is the main supportive protein found in bone tendon, cartilage, skin, and connective tissue. Osteophytes are bony outgrowths or lumps, especially at the joint margins. They are thought to develop in order to offload the pressure on the joint by increasing the surface area on which your weight is distributed. Synovium is a membrane found within the joints that secretes a fluid that lubricates tissues where friction would otherwise occur. Subchondral bone is the part of bone under the cartilage.


One in five adults has arthritis. It is estimated that one in two adults are at risk for knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms ...

Read more on www.arthritis.org

Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Arthritis) Causes, Diagnosis ...

Nov 29, 2010 ... Doctor to Patient: Osteoarthritis of the Hands - Causes, ... Conditions that can lead to secondary osteoarthritis include obesity, ...

Read more on www.medicinenet.com


Nov 24, 2010 ... Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting about 27 million people in the United States. ...

Read more on www.labtestsonline.org

Degenerative Joint Disease

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes pain, swelling and reduced motion in your joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips or spine. Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in your joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage absorbs the shock of movement. When you lose cartilage, your bones rub together. Over time, this rubbing can permanently damage the joint. Factors that may cause osteoarthritis include

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Osteoarthritis is some times referred to as ‘wear and tear' arthritis. However, this term is actually inaccurate, and it is more accurate to describe osteoarthritis as a process of wear and repair. This is because the condition is a slow repair process that the body uses to repair joints that have become damaged over time.

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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time. Joint pain and stiffness may become severe enough to make getting through the day difficult, if not impossible. Some people are no longer able to work. When joint pain is this severe, doctors typically suggest joint replacement surgery.

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Coping and support
Medications and other treatments are key to managing pain and disability, but another major component to treatment is your own attitude. Your ability to cope despite pain and disability caused by osteoarthritis often determines how much of an impact osteoarthritis will have on your everyday life. Talk to your doctor if you're feeling frustrated. He or she may have ideas about how to cope or refer you to someone who can help. In the meantime, try to: Keep a positive attitude. Make a plan with your doctor for managing your arthritis. This will help you feel that you're in charge of your disease, rather than vice versa. Studies show that people who take control of their treatment and actively...

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You should see your GP if you think that you may have osteoarthritis. There is no definitive test that can be used to diagnose the condition, so your GP will ask you about your symptoms and carry out an examination of your joints and muscles.

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Exams and Tests
A physical exam can show:Joint movement may cause a cracking (grating) sound; Joint swelling (bones around the joints may feel larger than normal); Limited range of motion; Tenderness when the joint is pressed; Normal movement is often painful

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Lifestyle and home remedies

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Medical advice
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of osteoarthritis.

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Outlook (Prognosis)
Your movement may become very limited. Treatment generally improves function.

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Possible Complications
Adverse reactions to drugs used for treatment; Decreased ability to perform everyday activities, such as personal hygiene, household chores, or cooking; Decreased ability to walk; Surgical complications

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Preparing for your appointment
While you may initially bring your concerns to your family physician, he or she may refer you to a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in joint disorders.

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It is not possible to prevent osteoarthritis altogether. However, you may be able to minimise your risk of developing osteoarthritis by avoiding factors that can make developing it more likely.

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Risk factors
Factors that increase your risk of osteoarthritis include: Older age. Osteoarthritis typically occurs in older adults. People under 40 rarely experience osteoarthritis.; Sex. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it isn't clear why.; Bone deformities. Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage, which can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.; Joint injuries. Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, may increase the risk of osteoarthritis.; Obesity. Carrying more body weight places more stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your knees.; Certain occupations. If your job includes tasks that place repetitive stress...

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As well as medical treatments for osteoarthritis, there are a number of ways that you can ease the symptoms of your condition yourself. Your GP or physiotherapist can give you advice about changes that you can make to your lifestyle in order to manage your osteoarthritis at home.

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Support Groups
For more information and support, see arthritis resources.

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Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include: Pain. Your joint may hurt during or after movement.; Tenderness. Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.; Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.; Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.; Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.; Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint.

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Treatments and drugs
There's no known cure for osteoarthritis, but treatments can help to reduce pain and maintain joint movement so that you can go about your daily tasks.

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