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What is Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder and is caused by wear and tear on a joint and aging. Osteoarthritis occurs equally in men and women before age 55. However, after age 55, the condition is more prevalent in women.

When cartilage, the rubbery tissue that cushions bones at the joints, breaks down — bones begin rubbing together causing inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and pain.

Osteoarthritis can be genetic. However many factors can increase a person’s risk for contracting OA.

Being overweight dramatically increases the chances of developing osteoarthritis in the hip, ankle, knee, and foot joint. Fracture or joint injuries can also lead to OA later in life.

Playing sports where joints are vulnerable to repeated impact can result in OA — and jobs that require an abundance of kneeling, lifting, climbing, or squatting also increase risk.

Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis. The pain is exacerbated with exercise. An x-ray of the affected area can determine the extent of cartilage loss.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but symptoms can be controlled with a combination of targeted supplements and conventional treatments.

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