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According to the Arthritis Foundation, over 21 million Americans have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, making this condition the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis tends to occur mostly with age, but can also occur in patients of much lesser age. As the body endures everyday activity, exertion of joints can take a large toll on weak cartilages in the knees, fingers, hips, wrist, or shoulder. Without aid from cartilage, these joints will eventually lose the ability to move freely within the theoretic range of motion. The mechanical wear and tear of lifelong stress most commonly stimulates this undesirable process, but previous injury can also be a probable cause of osteoarthritis.
With osteoarthritis, the lack of cartilage to cushion the joints creates friction between bones. This can grow increasingly painful. This condition may affect daily life, and is also one of many leg pain causes. Resulting pain can range from slight to severe, accompanied by various symptoms when joints are used: