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Osteoarthritis Health Center

Osteoarthritis Overview

Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by aging joints, injury, and obesity. OA symptoms include joint pain and stiffness. Treatment depends on the affected joint, including the hand, wrist, neck, back, knee, and hip, and involves medication and exercise. If you are overweight, weight loss may improve OA symptoms.

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Losing more than 10 percent of body weight was linked to slower degeneration of cushioning in joints

What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints. Unlike many other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus, osteoarthritis does not affect other organs of the body.

The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joints after repetitive use. Joint pain is usually worse later in the day. There can be swelling, warmth, and creaking of the affected joints. Pain and stiffness of the joints can also occur after long periods of inactivity, for example, sitting in a theater. In severe osteoarthritis, complete loss of cartilage causes friction between bones, causing pain at rest or pain with limited motion.

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