People usually have hip and knee health issues because their joints have been damaged by arthritis, a disease that mostly affects older people. The word arthritis means inflammation or swelling of the joint. Many people think of arthritis as a single disease. There are over 100 types of arthritis. The most common type of hip and knee arthritis is Osteoarthritis (OA). It is a common problem for many people, especially after middle age. To read more about Osteoarthritis, visit the Arthritis Society of Nova Scotia website
OA is a disease that results from the breakdown of cartilage in the joint. Cartilage is the hard, white tissue that caps the ends of your bones. It acts as a shock absorber for your joint. Each time you move, it softens the impact and lets your bones glide smoothly over each other.
With OA, the cartilage begins to wear away, and even wear out, causing your bones to rub directly against each other. This makes it hurt to move your joint. In some cases, little bumps, or bone spurs, will grow on the ends of the bone.
Osteoarthritis gets worse over time and it can affect any joint. Often called the “wear and tear” arthritis, it usually hits the joints that carry your bodyweight – like the lower back, feet, hips, and knees.
Did you know?
- Osteoarthritis affects about 1 in 10 Canadians.
- Most Canadians will have osteoarthritis in at least one joint by age 65.
- Osteoarthritis affects women and men almost equally.
- Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of long-term disability.
- The economic cost of arthritis is $4.4 billion a year, making it the second most “expensive” disease in Canada.
- Osteoarthritis has been around for thousands of years. Dinosaur bones and ice-age skeletons even had it!
- Good news! There are ways to slow down the disease.
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