The wearing down of the protective tissue at the ends of bones (cartilage) occurs gradually and worsens over time.
Joint pain in the hands, neck, lower back, knees, or hips is the most common symptom.
Medications, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery can help reduce pain and maintain joint movement.
Consult a doctor for medical advice
Sources: Mayo Clinic and others.
More than 3 million US cases per year
Treatment can help, but this condition can't be cured
Requires a medical diagnosis
Lab tests or imaging often required
More common in females
Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
Urgent medical attention recommended
Family history may increase likelihood
Diagnosis is based on the symptoms presented and sometimes tests to identify the causative factors.