Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints and surrounding tissues. Joints are places in the body where bones come together such as the knees, wrists, fingers, toes, and hips.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful, degenerative joint disease that often involves the hips, knees, neck, lower back, or small joints of the hands. OA usually develops in joints that are injured by overuse from performing a particular task repeatedly. Eventually this repeated impact thins or wears away the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the joint. As a result, the bones rub together resulting in joint pain. Joint flexibility is reduced, bony spurs can develop, and the joint swells. Usually, the first symptom of OA is pain that worsens following exercise or immobility.