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Osteoarthritis: Lifestyle Management

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, a term describing more than 100 rheumatic conditions. OA is also known as degenerative joint disease because it involves the breakdown of cartilage and underlying bone in joints, especially in the knees, hips, hands, and spine. OA is a leading cause of disability among adults in the United States. Although younger individuals may develop OA, the incidence generally increases with age. After age 55, OA affects an estimated 30% to 50% of men and 40% to 60% of women.

The onset of arthritis is gradual, and degeneration is progressive and typically causes pain, swelling, and stiffness. Although the specific mechanical, inflammatory, and metabolic causes of OA are yet to be fully determined, a number of risk factors, ...

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