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Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. It is caused by the degradation of a joint’s cartilage. Over time, the cartilage may wear away in some areas, greatly decreasing its ability to act as a shock absorber. As the cartilage wears away, tendons and ligaments stretch, causing pain. In advanced cases, the bones could rub against each other, causing even more pain and loss of movement.

Osteoarthritis is very common in middle-aged and older people, and its symptoms can range from very mild to very severe. The disorder most often affects hands and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and shoulders, but can affect almost any joint in the body.

Common Symptoms

Cracking and Creaking
Your joints may make crunching, creaking-like sounds. This creaking may also occur in a normal joint. In most instances, it doesn’t hurt and doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the joint.

Deformed Joints
Joints can start to look like they are the wrong shape, especially as arthritis gets worse.

Muscle Weakness
Muscles around the joint may get weaker. This is commonly seen with arthritis in the knee.

Joints may ache, or the pain may feel burning or sharp. For some people, the pain may come and go. Constant pain or pain while you sleep may be a sign that your arthritis is getting progressively worse.

Reduced range of motion and loss of use of the joint
As your arthritis gets worse, you may not be able to fully bend, flex, or extend your joints. Sometimes, you may not be able to use them at all.

When you have arthritis, getting up in the morning can be difficult. Your joints may feel stiff for a short time until you get moving and you may feel stiff from sitting.

Arthritis can cause swelling in joints making them feel tender and sore.


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