Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the world. You may have heard OA referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis. When OA begins to affect one of your joints, a series of reactions take place that actually begin to degrade your once-healthy bone and the "soft tissue" around the joint – tendons and cartilage.
Other causes of joint pain are deformity or direct injury to the joint. And sometimes, regardless of the cause of your pain, it can be made worse when you avoid using your joint altogether. That’s because with less use, the muscles around your joint weaken, which can make it even more difficult and painful to move.
Arthritis literally means "inflammation of a joint." In some forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, the inflammation arises because the smooth covering (articular cartilage) on the ends of bones become damaged or worn. Osteoarthritis is usually found in one, usually weightbearing, joint.
For patients whose joint pain does not improve with medication or physical therapy, “joint grease” injections may provide temporary relief. The joint is injected with a joint fluid supplement that acts as a lubricant for the damaged joint. Joint injection schedules and duration of relief vary according to the treatment chosen and the individual patient.
Over 50 million Americans have arthritis, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. That means 1 in every 5 adults, 300,000 children and countless families. These numbers are only going to keep growing—unless we take a stand. The first steps in conquering arthritis are learning the facts, understanding your condition and knowing that help is by your side.