Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that is characterized by the presence of damaged cartilage in the joints, the most common type of arthritis. This progressively painful disease can affect any joint in the human body, but is mainly directed at one’s hands, neck, lower back, knees, and hips. There are other forms of arthritis that cause internal organ damage, but only the joints in the body are affected by osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is often associated with pain, increasing loss of flexibility and mobility, and damage in the joint. The degeneration of cartilage is linked to age-related wear and tear, but may also be associated with risk factors such as occupational joint stress, increased weight, and joint injury.
Osteoarthritis treatment focuses on the management of pain and other symptoms. These may include oral medications, physical therapy, or joint injections. Those who are in chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis may benefit from a full discussion with their pain specialist or doctor about their treatment options and what may be best for their particular case.