Understanding Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common
form of arthritis affecting nearly 27 million
people in the United States. Cartilage and
bone damage that occur in OA can lead to
pain, stiffness, swelling and difficulty using
that joint. In normal joints, a firm rubbery
material called cartilage covers the end of
each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth,
gliding surface fir joint motion and acts as
a cushion between the bones. In OA, this
cartilage breaks down, leading to symptoms
such as pain and swelling and problems
using the joint.
Causes of OA include heredity, being overweight,
joint injury, repeated overuse,
nerve damage, aging, removal of the meniscus
from the know and growth patterns
such as bowed legs. To help keep your
joints healthy, reduce or prevent pain and
retain your independence, it is important
maintain muscle strength and a healthy
If you think you have OA see you physician
or rheumatologist. Managing your OA
may include regular physical exercise in
the form of stretching (Tai Chi), aerobatic
activity (walking, water exercises, riding a
stationary bike)and strengthening exercises
as well as weight control, therapy,
medications to treat pain and reduce inflammation
and nutritional supplements
(glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate).
Reference: “Osteoarthritis Understanding
OA—From Prevention to Causes and Treatments”,
Arthritis Foundation.

Author Description