Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage that supports and cushions the joints of the hands, spine, hips and knees wears away, and the bones rub against each other.
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is debilitating because it affects every aspect of your daily life. In addition to the pain, stiffness and lack of mobility associated with OA, you may also have trouble performing everyday activities. Pain from aching joints can keep you from getting a good night's sleep. OA can also put a strain on your ability to do your job and on your personal relationships. That can cause stress, insomnia and even depression. Add it all up and osteoarthritis takes a toll.
But OA doesn't have to wreck your life. Because weight loss, exercise and a healthy lifestyle all help osteoarthritis, your diagnosis is a chance to take charge of the disease. The things you do to improve your arthritis pay off in increased capabilities, less pain and improved overall health.