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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that causes the cushion layer between your bones (called cartilage) to wear away. It is also called degenerative joint disease.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in your body, and it is the most common type of arthritis.

What causes osteoarthritis?
Doctors don't know what causes joint cartilage to wear away. But they do know that osteoarthritis is more common as you get older or if you are very overweight. Sometimes a serious knee injury can bring on arthritis after a few years.

How can my doctor tell if I have osteoarthritis?
Your doctor will ask you questions about your pain. He or she will probably ask you if your knee pain gets worse with activity and better with rest. Your doctor will examine you to see if you have trouble moving your leg. He or she will also press on your knee joint to check for tenderness. Your doctor may also order an X-ray of your knee to see what is causing the pain. Blood tests can help rule out other forms of arthritis.

How is osteoarthritis of the knee treated?
Your doctor will recommend therapies to help relieve your pain. Your doctor may tell you to:
Rest your knee or avoid activities that make your pain worse.
Put ice on your knee for 20 to 30 minutes a few times a day to reduce inflammation and ease the pain.
Take an over-the-counter medicine, such as NSAIDs (e.g. Diclofenac Sodium: Rheumarene).
Do physical therapy or certain exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the joint.

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