Our joints have a shiny protective cartilage layer called hyaline cartilage. Osteoarthritis refers to the degeneration of this protective cartilage within a joint. The cartilage layer does not have the best blood supply and has limited ability to repair itself and hence over the years it can wear away. This wear and tear leads to an inflammatory response in the body which cause ongoing pain, stiffness and weakness. This most often occurs in the hip and knee but can also be found in the shoulder, AC joint, ankle, spine and wrist/hand
There are many options to managing OA but the evidence tells us that in most cases a progressive exercise and rehab program delivered by a combination of physiotherapist and exercise therapists will deliver the best outcomes. There are supplements which may also assist your recovery.
If conservative management fails medical management can have a role in assisting you to achieving your goals. This can include a variety of injections and eventually surgery to partially or wholly replace the joint.