Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs due to the breakdown of cartilage in joints, which causes the bones to rub against each other.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 27 million people in America have osteoarthritis. It usually develops between age 40 and 60. It primarily affects the weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, spine, feet and back. At times, it may affect the neck and joints in the fingers and hands.
Osteoarthritis is more common among women. Additional risk factors include previous joint injuries, weak thigh muscles, jobs that put excessive stress on a particular joint, bone deformities, obesity, genetics, diabetes, and complications of other types of arthritis.
Symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Common symptoms include joint pain during or after movement, joint stiffness (especially after waking up in the morning), joints feeling tender to the touch, loss of flexibility, a grating sensation in the joints when they are flexed, and bone spurs around affected joints.
If not treated timely, the condition may cause significant disability, leading to knee and hip replacement surgeries. Fortunately, simple lifestyle changes and easy-to-follow home remedies can help you manage the symptoms and lead a pain-free life.