According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 27 million Americans have the chronic disease called osteoarthritis which is also known as OA. Osteoarthritis affects both men and women of all race but primarily those over the age of 45.
The Arthritis Foundation’s website stated, “Men under age 55 are more likely to have OA than women in the same age range. After age 55, however, women are more commonly affected. Overall, more women have osteoarthritis than men. One possible reason: Women’s broader hips may put more long-term stress on their knees.”
The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) website claimed, “Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder, which is due to aging and wear and tear on a joint.” Also, the NIH stated, “almost everyone has some symptoms [of OA] by age 70. However, these symptoms may be minor.”
Hands, hips and knees are the most common areas of the body affected by OA. But those with OA may also experience shoulder pain.
Interestingly enough, the Foundation’s website verified that “OA rarely affects other joints, except as a result of injury or unusual physical stress.”
Osteoarthritis is not contagious and there is no known cure for the disease. Over time OA may become worse.
OA is defined as a “the breakdown of cartilage – the part of a joint that cushions the ends of the bones and allows easy movement. As cartilage deteriorates, bones begin to rub against one another. This can cause stiffness and pain that make it difficult for you to use that joint. Osteoarthritis can also damage ligaments, menisci and muscles. Over time OA may create a need for joint replacements.”
Primary and secondary are the two types of OA diagnosed by medical professionals. The Arthritis Foundation defined primary and secondary OA as the following:
“Primary osteoarthritis is generally associated with aging and the 'wear and tear' of life. The older you are, the more likely you are to have some degree of primary osteoarthritis. However, not everyone gets it – not even the very old. That’s because OA is a disease, and not part of the normal aging process.