Osteoarthritis, which is the most common type and affects approximately 27 million Americans, is the leading cause of arthritis. Women over 50 are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than those of the same age. Actually, women are more likely than men to experience a decrease of their activity.

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the tissue between the joints that acts as a cushion causes the joints to rub together. This can lead to stiffness and reduced mobility, as well as chronic pain. Chronic pain is one of the most challenging aspects of osteoarthritis. It can make it difficult to do the things that make your life enjoyable and rich, such as driving, working, or hugging grandchildren. Most people suffering from osteoarthritis find it difficult to exercise. They are at greater risk of developing other health problems such as diabetes or heart disease.

“For many individuals, the main goal is to effectively treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis and stay active,”Carmen Green, M.D. is a spokesperson for the Society for Women’s Health Research and Professor of Anesthesiology and Obstetrics and Gynology as well as Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan. “Treatment may include a mix of physical therapy, acupuncture, massage and prescription pain medications, including over-the-counter products, anti-inflammatory drugs and opioid medications.”

Experts agree that the earlier osteoarthritis can be diagnosed and treated, then the greater the chance of it not getting worse. Osteoarthritis sufferers should consult a doctor to discuss managing their pain. They and their caregivers should learn as much as possible and take part in creating their treatment plan.

Visit the Society for Women’s Health Research to learn more about osteoarthritis. www.swhr.org. This website will provide links to information that provides information about pain conditions. It can help patients with osteoarthritis to better understand the condition, and be able to discuss it with their healthcare provider.