What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, and causes the cartilage on the end of your bones to get rougher and thinner. The bones underneath compensate for this by thickening and growing outwards, creating outgrowths. It mainly occurs in the knees, hips and small joints of the hands and toes.
How common is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis affects 8.5 million people in the UK. The NHS in England and Wales performs over 140,000 hip and knee replacements every year. The condition usually develops over the age of 40 and is more common in women than in men.
What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
The main symptoms of the condition are pain, stiffness in the morning, and difficulty moving your affected joints. Other symptoms include joint tenderness, slightly larger joints, a grating sound in your joints and weakness and muscle wasting.
How is Osteoarthritis treated?
Osteoarthritis can be treated with self-help, including regular aerobic exercise, using a walking stick, wearing supportive items and electrotherapy. You may also be prescribed creams and gels to help ease the pain. Surgery may be suggested in severe cases.
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