Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the whole joint including bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. The area predominantly
affected is the cartilage (the protective covering over the ends of your bones), which degenerates, or breaks down. This cartilage is what
stops the bones in your joints from rubbing against each other. Damage to cartilage and surrounding structures can cause your joints to:
- Become painful, stiff or swollen
- Feel like they might lock up or give way
Sometimes you can have osteoarthritis and not feel any symptoms at all. The most common sites to feel pain are your hands, spine, hips, and
What factors increase my risk of osteoarthritis?
- Family history
- Gender - females have a higher incidence of osteoarthritis
- Age - it is more common as we get older
- Overuse or injury to joints
- Being overweight or obese
What can I do to manage my osteoarthritis?
Firstly, make sure you have an accurate diagnosis. It
is best to visit your general practitioner (GP) first, to get appropriate tests and to come up with a treatment plan.
The best approach to treatment is a team approach.
You are the most important member of your healthcare team. Your team may also involve:
- Your GP
- Specialists (such as rheumatologists and orthopaedic specialists)
- Allied health professionals (such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists)
- Community organisations that may support you physically or mentally
- Your friends and family who support you
More information and support
Order your free information booklet Taking control of your Osteoarthritis or download some of our handy information sheets
Register for The Joint Movement 12-week exercise program at a location near you!
My Joint Pain, an online tool by Arthritis Australia and Bupa Health Foundation for managing osteoarthritis.
Join one of our online support groups to connect with other Australians living with arthritis.