Arthritis or osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive wear of cartilage that develops over several years (and decades). The cartilage can hardly absorb the forces of movement on its joint and results in pain. This joint degeneration can affect many different joints, but most often affects the knees and hips.
Over the years, injuries to a joint or exposure to unusual or poorly controlled mechanical stresses can thin the cartilage. Thus, the cartilage does not protect the bones as well. This often leads to the common complaint of morning joint stiffness with osteoarthritis. A decrease in muscle strength around the affected joint is often the reality observed by physiotherapists. Arthritis can not be removed from a joint, but one can learn to better manage the affected joints and therefore stop the symptoms and limit the progression of osteoarthritis.