Arthrosis is also known as as osteoarthritis, osteoarthrosis and degenerative joint disease. It is one of the most commonly experienced diseases, a condition of the joints wherein the cartilage tissue is damaged through injury, illness or repeated stress and strain. As cartilage serves as a cushion that covers the the area between two bones as they move, damage to this cushion can lead to pain, and inflammation.

Arthrosis starts when some protein components go through changes, while others are reduced in number. A normal body will usually respond to this change, attempting to reverse the damage by creating new cartilage cells. But through repeated episodes of destruction and regeneration, the cartilage loses its smooth characteristics causing bone surfaces to come into direct contact. This action causes a local inflammatory response that further worsens the tissue injury, while cracks develop in the articular surface of the cartilage.

Adjacent bones become at risk of undergoing the same process as the affected bones. Because of that local inflammatory response, every component of the joint goes through hypertrophy. The tendons, muscles and ligaments increase in size and gives off localized warmth, which is the reason why people feel that their joints are swollen, warm and tender when they have arthrosis.

Arthrosis only worsens over time, though specific symptoms may vary. There are reported cases of arthrosis causing deformities in the fingers and toes while having no periods of pain, while there are others who will feel pain and experience gradual deformity and decreased joint articulation as the arthrosis progresses.

Individuals who are likely to have arthrosis are those who are in their 30s and above. Research shows that about 35% of people already have already developed arthrosis in some of their joints by this age, without being aware that their joints are already damaged. By the age of 50, the risk greatly increases. Other risk factors include obesity, diabetis or hyperthyroidism, though other diseases and injuries can also contribute to the development of arthrosis.

Aside from pain, a person with arthrosis will have complaints of discomfort around joints during movement, or when fatigued. Later on symptoms like deformities and limited articular function can be expected. Patients will then observe that pain is present after a long period of inactivity, as when at rest duing sleep, that lasts for few minutes. These are the most common signs and symptoms that one experiences when having the disease.

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