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There are two major known types of arthritis, but the one most often linked to the degeneration of cartilage is referred to as Osteoarthritis. This condition affects over 27 million people in the US alone and can result in impaired movement, joint pain and deterioration. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the knees, hips, and hands.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition often linked to old age, but is not part of the natural aging process. The condition can be broken down into two categories. Primary OA is commonly linked to general deterioration of the joints and is considered a result of wear and tear on the body. Secondary OA is usually triggered by a preexisting condition such as obesity or trauma. This variation tends to develop earlier in life within just years of the triggering event.

When afflicted with Osteoarthritis it is common for individuals to withdraw, remain inactive, and avoid putting additional stress on the joints. According to researchers, however, it is suggested to remain physically active in order to keep joints functioning and lubricated. This is counterintuitive due to the pain these persons feel, but will help to reduce the rate of degeneration and relieve pain overall.

Effective self management will allow an afflicted individual to remain active and participate in work and outside activities even after being diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. Awareness of the condition and effective management are the first steps toward healthy living. More severe cases may warrant the use of medications or even surgery.

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