Osteoarthritis (OA)

Definition - What does Osteoarthritis (OA) mean?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of the joints causing degeneration of the cartilage of the joints and changes in the underlying bones. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and usually affects adults who are middle-aged or older. Symptoms of OA can include pain, swelling, and stiffness. Genetics, past injuries, other diseases, and repetitive motion can all influence an individual’s chances of developing osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease.

WorkplaceTesting explains Osteoarthritis (OA)

Joints are the parts of the skeletal structure that connect two bones, usually in a manner that allows motion. Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage cushion between two joints begins to weaken or erode. Once this cushion has thinned or worn away, the two ends of the joint begin to rub together, causing pain and limiting movement. Eventually bone spurs may develop on the damaged joints. OA is most likely to affect the hands and those joints that are used for weight-bearing motions such as the back, knees, hips, and feet. Depending on the severity of the condition, osteoarthritis may be treated with pain medication, topical ointments, injected steroids, physical therapy, or surgery.

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