OsteoarthritisView All Arthritis Types
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, affecting more than three million Canadians — that’s one in 10! Though once referred to as the “wear-and-tear” arthritis, the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recently re-defined this condition. It describes OA as the result of the body’s failed attempt to repair damaged joint tissues. However, OA isn’t always developed due to abnormal stresses or injury; it may also occur as part of the aging process. This condition leads to the breakdown of cartilage (the tough elastic material that covers and protects the ends of bones) and the underlying bone, resulting in pain, stiffness, swelling and bone-on-bone reduction in range of movement in the affected joint.
The joints most commonly affected by OA are the knees, hips and those in the hands and spine. When it comes to symptoms of pain, deformity and dysfunction, OA affects everyone differently.
There is currently no cure for OA. However, there are options that can help reduce risk, relieve pain and improve function. They include a combination of joint protection (e.g., avoiding repetitive stress on the joint — ballet dancers, professional musicians, elite athletes and construction workers are at particular risk), self management, exercise and physical therapy, weight management, medications and, sometimes for severe OA, total joint replacementView All Arthritis Types