Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. It’s also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, or arthrosis. Osteoarthritis is a condition that tends to develop over time. So, if you have joint pain in one or more joints that is getting steadily worse over time, speak with your doctor about the possibility that you may have osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the result of reduced cartilage, which acts as a lubricant between the bones in your joints ensuring smooth, functional movements. When cartilage gets worn down, the bones in the joint rub against one another, causing pain, stiffness, a diminished range of motion.
Cartilage deterioration exposes a lot of little nerves that become inflamed. This bone-on-bone rubbing makes movement painful and can create bone spurs at the site of friction. This rubbing movement can also cause flare ups of inflammation at the site of the osteoarthritis, which can be very painful.
You are more likely to find osteoarthritis in joints that are overused. For example, a baker may get osteoarthritis in the hands, or a runner could get osteoarthritis in the knees. It can also be caused by carrying around excess body weight, which can lead to muscle strain and extra stress on the joints.1