Osteoarthritis, also referred to as OA, degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthrosis, is the most prevalent type of arthritis. Although commonly associated with aging and older individuals, osteoarthritis can also affect young people, especially those who experience joint injury or engage in repetitive activities that cause joint damage.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage, the cushioning tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Over time, the cartilage can break down and wear away, causing pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility in the affected joint. OA is most common in the knees, hips, and hands, but can occur in any joint.

Maintaining a balance between overexertion and inactivity is crucial if you suffer from OA. Regular exercise can help keep your muscles strong enough to support the damaged joints. Weakened muscles, especially around weight-bearing joints such as the knee, can lead to the development of OA or aggravate existing damage in the joint.

Prevention strategies for OA include maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, avoiding repetitive joint stress, and protecting joints from injury.


There is no cure for OA, but treatments aim to manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Treatment options include:

  • Lifestyle modifications: Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising, avoiding repetitive activities or motions that stress the joint, and using assistive devices like a cane or brace can help reduce the symptoms and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to reduce pain and inflammation. Prescription medications like corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid injections may also be used to manage symptoms.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve joint mobility, flexibility, and muscle strength, which can reduce pain and improve joint function.

Surgery: In severe cases of osteoarthritis, joint replacement surgery may be recommended, especially if other treatments have not been effective.