Managing Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is also known as degenerative joint disease. OA breaks down the cartilage in your joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. It helps absorbs the shock of movement. When you lose cartilage, your bones rub together. Over time, this rubbing can permanently damage the joint.

Risk factors for OA include:

  • Being overweight
  • Getting older
  • Injuring a joint

No single test can diagnose OA. Most doctors use several ways, including medical history, a physical exam, x-rays, or lab tests.

OA cannot be cured. You can treat the symptoms with methods that include:

  • Weight control
  • Medicines
  • Physical therapy