Osteoarthritis Causes and Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is the Most Common Type of Arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints. Cartilage is a protein ingredient that serves as a “cushion” between the bones of the joints. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis.

Among the over 100 different types of arthritis conditions, osteoarthritis is the most common. Before age 45, osteoarthritis occurs more frequently in males. After age 55 years, it occurs more frequently in females. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the hands, feet, spine, and large weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees.

What causes osteoarthritis?

Primary osteoarthritis (when the cause is not known) is mostly related to aging. With aging, the water content of the cartilage increases and the protein makeup of cartilage degenerates. Repetitive use of the joints over the years irritates and inflames the cartilage, causing joint pain and swelling. Eventually, cartilage begins to degenerate. In advanced cases, there is a total loss of the cartilage cushion between the bones of the joints.

Loss of cartilage cushion causes friction among the bones, leading to pain and limitation of joint mobility. Inflammation of the cartilage can also stimulate new bone outgrowths (spurs) to form around the joints.

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