Find out why it’s much more commonly known as "wear and tear" arthritis
What is osteoarthritis (OA)?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the world.1 You may have heard OA referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis. When OA begins to affect one of your joints, a series of reactions take place that actually begin to degrade your once-healthy bone and the "soft tissue" around the joint -- tendons and cartilage. Once the cartilage that normally cushions and protects the bones of the joint breaks down, the bones of your joint eventually rub directly against each other. Your body reacts to this by creating bone spurs and the joint capsule itself may thicken and weaken. Inflammation eventually sets in.
Doctors talk about two kinds of OA. Primary OA often refers to "everyday wear"; Secondary OA is considered the result of a misaligned joint, being overweight, injury, or overuse.1, 2
21,000,000 people are affected by OA in the United States alone.3 Although OA can affect anyone at any age, it has been linked to the aging process. More than 50% of everyone over 65 has OA symptoms in one or both knees. By 75, virtually everyone suffers with OA in one or more joints. In fact, OA of the knee and hips continues to be the most common cause of arthritis-related disability for Americans. The Arthritis Foundation cites that men and women may develop OA at different times in life. Most people develop symptoms after 45, but as a group men under 55 and women over 55 develop OA more frequently.