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Osteoarthritis or what is commonly called as OA is a condition relevant to the muscular system of the body i.e. bones, muscles and joints. It is also a form of arthritis. It is in fact the most common forms of arthritis. This condition mainly arises due to breakdown of the material called as cartilage that is present in the joints and performs the task of cushioning of the joints. Due to occurrence of osteoarthritis, the concerned person suffers from pain, stiffness, inflammation and difficulty in the movement of joints.

The condition of arthritis may affect any of the joints in the body including knees, elbows, fingers, thumbs, ankles and sometimes neck as well. It is to be noted that osteoarthritis is found commonly in large numbers of people. In some cases, the condition is under control and tolerable. On the other hand, the condition may become aggravated in some other cases and may even become unbearable at times. It is mostly found in people in advancing years of their age but this condition may be found in younger generation as well. Some of the common risk factors for occurrence of osteoarthritis include obesity, injury to the joints, weakness of thigh muscles and genetic factors in some cases.

What causes osteoarthritis?

  • As per medical science, the degenerative changes taking place in the body and especially in the cells and tissues of bones and muscles are mainly considered responsible for occurrence of this condition. Additionally, there may be some other factors as well that may be held responsible for causing osteoarthritis. The chief factors out of these may be as given below.
  • Nutritional deficiencies in the diet result in weakness of the bones and muscles as well as joints which in turn causes osteoarthritis.
  • People who have family history of the disease are also at high risk of suffering from this condition.
  • People who are related to the profession in which lifting of heavy objects or loads is involved are also prone to suffer from osteoarthritis. It is due to the reason that lifting of heavy objects causes damage to the cartilage.
  • Sometimes minor or even major injuries caused to various body joints such as hips, elbows, ankles etc. may also be responsible for causing osteoarthritis.

Major symptoms of osteoarthritis

  • There are multiple signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis that may appear differently in different people. The chief symptoms of this health condition are as given below.
  • People suffering from osteoarthritis may experience soreness or stiffness in the joints. This symptom appears mainly in the joints related to the knees, lower back, hips etc. particularly after overuse of these joints. Even people who remain physically inactive for long time may also experience this symptom majorly in their body.
  • Pain and inflammation in the joints especially that becomes worse following physical activity or towards the end of the day is also an important symptom of osteoarthritis.
  • Stiffness in the joints is another common indicator of osteoarthritis. It ultimately results in difficulty in movement of the affected joints.

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