Osteoarthritis is joint pain that comes with wear and tear. WebMD explains the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments for osteoarthritis. Responsive Advanced osteoarthritis in knees Content 3 Column Template_091e9c5e813ec926_tmodules_css_535.
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It is associated with a breakdown of cartilage in joints and can occur in almost any joint in the body. It also affects the fingers, thumb, neck, and large toe. Cartilage is a firm, rubbery material that covers the ends of bones in normal joints. Its main function is to reduce friction in the joints and serve as a «shock absorber. Over time, the cartilage may wear away in some areas, greatly decreasing its ability to act as a shock absorber. As the cartilage deteriorates, tendons and ligaments stretch, causing pain.
If the condition worsens, the bones could rub against each other. The chance of developing the disease increases with age. Most people over age 60 have osteoarthritis to some degree, but its severity varies. Even people in their 20s and 30s can get osteoarthritis, although there is often an underlying reason, such as joint injury or repetitive joint stress from overuse. In people over age 50, more women than men have osteoarthritis. There are several factors that increase a person’s chances of developing osteoarthritis.