Understanding Osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis (OA)?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is called the “wear and tear” form of the disease. When OA begins to affect a person’s body, a series of reactions start attacking the soft tissue that protects your bones. As soon as the soft tissue is gone, your bones begin to rub and wear down, which causes joint damage, inflammation, and pain.

Who does OA affect?

In the United States, twenty-one million people are affected by OA, and though anyone can suffer from OA, the most common factor is aging. Anyone over the age of 55 should be checked for OA.

What are the symptoms of OA?

The main symptoms of OA might include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Crunching sounds in the joint

If you feel you are suffering from any of the symptoms of OA, please contact your doctor.


  1. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Osteoarthritis: Introduction. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS00019. Accessed February 4, 2008.
  2. MedicineNet, Inc. Osteoarthritis. WebMD. Available at: http://www.medicinenet.com/osteoarthritis/page5.htm#minimal. Accessed February 4, 2008.

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