Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative or “wear and tear” arthritis, is a common problem for many people after they reach middle age. Over the years, the smooth, gliding surface covering the ends of bones (cartilage) becomes worn and frayed. This results in inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joint.
Many factors increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis. Because the ability of cartilage to heal itself decreases as we age, older people are more likely to develop the disease. Other risk factors include obesity and family history of the disease.