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:
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
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.
You are the most important member of your healthcare team. Your team may also involve:
Keeping healthy, especially when you have arthritis, can be hard. There's no one-size-fits-all way to manage arthritis. But, using H.A.P.P.Y. helps us remember the key things we can do each day to look after our arthritis and our overall health:
My Joint Pain, an online tool by Arthritis Australia and Bupa Health Foundation for managing osteoarthritis.
Your gift will help fund self-management courses, education seminars and will provide individual support for people living with arthritis.