Osteoarthritis develops when cartilage, which cushions the insides of the joints, begins to break down. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, among many types. Although evidence of the disease usually appears in people in their forties or fifties, experts believe that it begins during the twenties and thirties. Unlike the situation with rheumatoid arthritis, there is little or no inflammation in persons with osteoarthritis, and this type of arthritis does not affect the whole body. Because the breakdown or degeneration in the joint has already occurred when the diagnosis is made, the primary focus of treatment is pain relief and trying to prevent further damage.
More information on arthritis is provided in the Arthritis Section of our website.