Osteoarthritis is categorized by degeneration of the cartilage over time, a natural part of the aging process. Cartilage loses protein and the water content increases. Osteoarthritis, in advanced cases, leads to a loss of cartilage, in the joints. This causes pain and limited mobility. The loss of cartilage may also stimulate bones to grow and produce spurs. Secondary osteoarthritis is caused by obesity, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, abnormal joints, diabetes and repeated stress to a joint.
Treatments range from physiotherapy, surgery, anti-inflammatory medications, pain relieving medication, and making lifestyle changes. There is no cure, but an anti-inflammation diet, and using supplements can help to manage symptoms. Cartilage regeneration is a debated topic, but glucosamine supplements and taking chondroitin sulfate, are two of the most widely used. Knee replacement surgery, for example, may be needed. Osteoarthritis is diagnosed using X-Ray, blood tests to eliminate other conditions, an Arthrocentesis ( joint fluid analysis), or an arthroscopy.