Arthritis is the leading cause of disability amongst U.S. adults.
What it feels like:
Arthritis is inflammation of a joint that results in damaged cartilage and can occur throughout the body. Symptoms include:
Who is affected?
Arthritis occurs when cartilage wears away and becomes more common as you age.
How common is it?
Arthritis is common and osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting middle-aged adults and older adults.
- Physical therapy
- Lifestyle changes
- Surgery in some cases
- Joint fusion
- Joint replacement
Arthritis is a general term covering more than 100 different conditions.
The term arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint, but is generally used to describe any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury. The warning signs that inflammation presents are redness, swelling, heat and pain.
The cartilage is a padding that absorbs stress. The proportion of cartilage damage and synovial inflammation varies with the type and stage of arthritis. Usually the pain early on is due to inflammation. In the later stages, when the cartilage is worn away, most of the pain comes from the mechanical friction of raw bones rubbing on each other.
For more information, click the following links from the Academy of Orthopedic Surgery website:
Knee arthritis: http://www.orthoinfo.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00212
Hip arthritis: http://www.orthoinfo.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00213