Osteoarthritis Resources and Clinical Trials on Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is a common disorder in our aging population. It typically affects middle-aged or elderly individuals and can affect many joints in the body. Most commonly, it affects the hands and weight bearing joints in the body such as the knees, hips, back and feet.
Osteoarthritis causes a gradual degeneration of the cartilage in joints. Once the protective cartilage is worn away, bones rub against one another causing pain and impaired movement. Symptoms vary from person to person and although some may experience very little pain, the disease can be debilitating for many.
Sometimes referred to as the 'wear and tear arthritis', risk factors for osteoarthritis include age, obesity and previous injury from sports, work or other accident.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis. Treatment is focused on eliminating painful symptoms and enabling function. It usually involves weight loss, keeping active and taking pain medications as necessary. Physical therapy can also be helpful and gives patients exercises they can continue on their own.