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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OS-tee-oh-are-THRY-tis) also referred to as OA, affects about 60 million Americans. It is caused by injury to or wear and tear of the joints over the years. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects hip, knee or the spine. It is one of the oldest and most common types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis most commonly affects middle-aged and older people. It can range from very mild to very severe.

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

Research has shown that Osteoarthritis is an inevitable part of aging. Obesity, work related injuries and injuries due to sports are also part of the causes of Osteoarthritis.

Genetics and Osteoarthritis

Persons born with defective cartilage or with slight defects in the way that joints fit together may develop osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Some of the most common symptoms are: stiff joints, swollen joints, red and tender joints. The symptoms develop gradually and may not appear all at once.

How is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed?

Your doctor can diagnose osteoarthritis by an X-ray or MRI

Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis

Some of the most common treatment options are: Weight loss, exercise, heat and cold therapy, pain medication and surgery.

Risks for Developing Osteoarthritis

  • Excessive Weight
  • If you were born 'double jointed' you are vulnerable to Osteoarthritis.
  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) puts you at risk.

Certain professions also put you at risk for developing osteoarthritis

  • Athletes who use anabolic steroids
  • Football and soccer players who have repeated knee injuries
  • Ballet dancers often develop Osteoarthritis of the feet and toes

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