What is Arthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease in humans and all vertebrate animals. Nearly 50 percent of the population suffers from osteoarthritis by age 65. Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease of the joints, especially the weight-bearing joints that develops when the linings of joints degenerate, leading to inflammation, pain, and decreased mobility and function. Current thinking is that osteoarthritis is not just a single disorder, but a complex pattern of changes in the repair mechanisms that keep joints functioning normally. A number of different factors can impinge upon the health of joint tissue, including biomechanical forces, changes in body biochemistry, inflammatory processes, and altered immune function.