The word arthritis literally means "joint inflammation" - that is, a joint that is painful, warm to the touch, possibly red, swollen, and associated with a loss of function. "Osteo" is Greek for "bone
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is a 'non-inflammatory' type of arthritis, which means that inflammation is not the key component.
While OA sometimes may be painful, it is not always disabling
OA can involve a number of joints, but it is not a disease that spreads to involve other tissues or joints throughout the body
Osteoarthritis has been called a "degenerative" condition because it is caused, in part, by wear-and-tear of a joint over time. Its impact is significant:
OA occurs in both men and women and usually develops after age 45.
More than 16 million Americans, including over 50 percent of people over 65, have some degree of osteoarthritis.
Older people often don't realize that they have OA if they are free of pain and other symptoms. However, x-rays often reveal some OA of the spine or fingers in elderly individuals.
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