Psychology & Psychiatry

Do antidepressants help chronic back pain and osteoarthritis?

Antidepressants are commonly used worldwide to treat pain, however new research from the University of Sydney shows they offer little to no help for people suffering chronic back pain and osteoarthritis and may even cause ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Stick to supportive shoes if you have knee pain

A randomized controlled trial found that sturdy supportive shoes improve knee pain on walking and knee-related quality of life compared with flat flexible shoes. This evidence supports recommendations that previously had ...

Medical research

Study reveals new link to arthritis

A new study by investigators at the Shriners Hospital for Children—St. Louis suggests the damaging effects of obesity are not due to body weight but rather come from something much smaller—biochemical signals released ...

Genetics

Gene that protects against osteoarthritis identified

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common problems associated with aging, and although there are therapies to treat the pain that results from the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions joints, there are no available therapies ...

Genetics

Osteoarthritis biomarker could help cut $23 billion health bill

University of South Australia researchers are a step closer to finding a new biomarker for osteoarthritis, a painful condition which affects more than two million Australians and costs the country an estimated $23 billion ...

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA, also known as degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease), is a group of diseases and mechanical abnormalities entailing degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and the subchondral bone next to it. Clinical symptoms of OA may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, inflammation, creaking, and locking of joints. In OA, a variety of potential forces—hereditary, developmental, metabolic, and mechanical—may initiate processes leading to loss of cartilage -- a strong protein matrix that lubricates and cushions the joints. As the body struggles to contain ongoing damage, immune and regrowth processes can accelerate damage. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, subchondral bone may be exposed and damaged, with regrowth leading to a proliferation of ivory-like, dense, reactive bone in central areas of cartilage loss, a process called eburnation. The patient increasingly experiences pain upon weight bearing, including walking and standing. Due to decreased movement because of the pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax. OA is the most common form of arthritis, and the leading cause of chronic disability in the United States.

"Osteoarthritis" is derived from the Greek word "osteo", meaning "of the bone", "arthro", meaning "joint", and "itis", meaning inflammation, although many sufferers have little or no inflammation. Osteoarthritis is not to be confused with rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory joint disease. A common misconception is that OA is due solely to wear and tear, since OA typically is not present in younger people. However, while age is correlated with OA incidence, this correlation merely illustrates that OA is a process that takes time to develop. There is usually an underlying cause for OA, in which case it is described as secondary OA. If no underlying cause can be identified it is described as primary OA. "Degenerative arthritis" is often used as a synonym for OA, but the latter involves both degenerative and regenerative changes.

OA affects nearly 27 million people in the United States, accounting for 25% of visits to primary care physicians, and half of all NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) prescriptions. It is estimated that 80% of the population will have radiographic evidence of OA by age 65, although only 60% of those will show symptoms. In the United States, hospitalizations for osteoarthritis soared from about 322,000 in 1993 to 735,000 in 2006.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA