Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, is a common chronic disorder of the joints. Cartilage acts as a buffer between two healthy joints, providing a smooth surface where they converge. If the cartilage degenerates, it will cause pain, limited mobility, and swelling. Osteoarthritis can strike any joint, but the most common areas affected are the fingers, base of thumb, neck, hips, knees lower back and big toe. Although Osteoarthritis can occur at any age, it’s usually seen in people over 65. Other risks factors aside from age are being overweight, wear and tear on the joint from overuse, past damage to joint, and genetics.
Pain. As osteoarthritis progresses, bone can break down, break off and float around the affected joint. This sets off an inflammatory response that attacks the joints cartilage. In advanced osteoarthritis, bone rubs on bone, leading to even more damage and increased pain. The swelling, stiffness, and pain can make it extremely difficult to perform even the simplest of tasks.