What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder condition and, according to the Arthritis Foundation, affects some 27 million Americans. This condition is a degeneration and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints between two bones, normally due to wear and tear as part of the aging process. This loss of cartilage creates an inflammation which, in turn, can cause swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and, although it can affect any joint in the body, mostly affects the hands, hips, knees, lower back and neck. Osteoarthritis is more common among females than males, especially after the age of 50. Typically, osteoarthritis starts to develop in people after age 40 and progresses slowly. However, young people may also be affected, often as a result of injury or another joint condition.