Osteoarthritis (OA) is often referred to as a ‘degenerative joint disease’ that usually develops slowly over a period of years. It is a very common disease, typically associated with joint pain. For example, 6% of adults aged 30 years old and older have frequent knee pain. Over time, the cartilage on the surface of the joint becomes damaged and begins to wear away. This is a source of chronic pain and stiffness in the joint.1
If you suffer from arthritis, you will be all too familiar with the range of symptoms that it causes and their effect upon your life.
- Normal cartilage: Provides a smooth surface allowing bones to move easily across each other.
- Synovial fluid: Lubricates and provides shock absorption during physical activity, due to a high concentration of hyaluronic acid.
- Normal bone: Provides strength and support for the body’s tissues.
- Eroded cartilage: If completely worn away, bones may scrape painfully against each other.
- Osteoarthritis synovial fluid: The development of osteoarthritis diminishes the production of healthy hyaluronic acid.
- Osteoarthritis bone: Over time, bony spur growths called osteophytes develop.
You may suffer from osteoarthritis, if you have any of these symptoms:
- Joint stiffness in the morning
- Joint pain when you move
- Joint pain even when you are not physically active
- A crackling sound or a grating feeling in your joints when you walk
- Red and swollen skin around the joint
While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are treatment options such as physical therapy, hyaluronic acid injections, and surgery. Learn more about how osteoarthritis is diagnosed, and the treatments of osteoarthritis.