What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects your joints, causing pain and stiffness. It’s by far the most common form of joint disease, affecting people all over the world and at least 8 million people in the UK. Read more
How does a normal joint work?
A joint is where two or more bones meet. The joint allows your bones to move freely but within controlled limits. Read more
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Symptoms of osteoarthritis can include pain, stiffness, a grating or grinding sensation when you move the joint, and soft or hard swellings.
What causes osteoarthritis?
Almost anyone can get osteoarthritis but certain factors can increase your risk, for example if you’re in your late 40s or older, you’re overweight or you're female. Read more
Which joints are affected by osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but it most commonly affects the knees, hips, neck and back, big toe and fingers. Read more
What are the possible complications of osteoarthritis?
Possible complications of osteoarthritis include an increased risk of crystals developing in the joint(s) leading to gout or a condition called chondrocalcinosis. Read more
What is the outlook for osteoarthritis?
Sometimes osteoarthritis can develop quite quickly, but often it’s a slow process that develops over many years. The level of pain also differs a great deal from one person to another. Read more
How is osteoarthritis diagnosed?
Your doctor will make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and an examination. X-rays are sometimes useful to confirm a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, although they won’t often be needed. Read more
What can I do to help myself if I have osteoarthritis?
There are many different self-help methods for osteoarthritis, including weight management, exercise, reducing the strain on your joints and complementary therapies. Read more
What treatments are there for osteoarthritis?
A combination of over-the-counter painkillers and self-help methods may be all you need for your osteoarthritis, but if your pain is severe your doctor may suggest other treatments. Read more
Living with osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis can affect many different areas of your life, including your work, sleep and mood. But there are ways you can help yourself. Read more
Research and new developments for osteoarthritis
Arthritis Research UK is funding many studies find and test new treatments for osteoarthritis. Read more