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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a Degenerative Joint Disease in which the tissues around the joint break down over time. OA is most common in the Knees, Hips, Neck, Back and Hands and is the most common form of Arthritis. People who suffer with OA can have relatively mild symptoms and will not affect their daily living. However, other individuals can have significant pain and can find it very debilitating.

OA is usually a long-standing condition that develops over a period, it can affect any population at any time in life however, it is predominantly found in females over the age of 50. The younger population who develops OA tend to have had a joint injury/trauma, abnormal joint structure or even a genetic defect in the cartilage.

OA initially affects the smooth cartilage lining around the joint by starting to wear and become thin. Once the lining of the cartilage has started to thin the surrounding tendons and ligaments must work a little bit harder than usual and, in some cases, can lead to bony spurs called osteophytes. Severe loss of cartilage can lead to bone on bone rubbing which can alter the shape of the joint, and potentially force the joint out of place and become very painful.


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