Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is an age related disease caused by the aging and wear and tear on a joint. Basically, the cartilages, the tough and flexible connective tissue covering ends of bone joints that cushion the bones, become less resilient leading to painful and swollen joints. While osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects weight-bearing joints in your hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips.
What causes Osteoarthritis ?
A variety of causes— age, obesity, extreme physical work, injuries —may initiate processes leading to loss of cartilage. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, bone may be exposed and damaged. As a result of decreased movement secondary to pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax.
Osteoarthritis in India
In India, Osteoarthritis affects over 15 Million people each year, most in the 65+ age group, though of late there have been more cases identified in the age group 35 – 55 years. According to the World Health Organization, this year over 30% of the people over the age of 65 in India are likely to suffer from severe osteoarthritis.