The answer to What is Osteoarthritis? is: Inflammation of a joint caused by various factors, and reversible by reversing those factors.
'Arthritis' is technically 'inflammation of a joint. But there's much more to it that that.
There IS more to it, of course, but even though your doctor can't cure your osteoarthritis, it's not rocket science and you can take care of it by yourself, at home.
Having said that, if it's so bad that it's bone on bone or close to it, that may require some outside help.
So let's answer the question so you can get back to living pain free.
What is Osteoarthritis? It's a reversible problem!
Your doctor won't tell you that though...which is a bummer.
The important thing to know here, is that osteo arthritis CAN be reversed. And reliably so.
Granted the farther along your osteo arthritis dynamic is, the more wear and tear (if any) that's happened to the joint lining, etc, the harder it will be/the more time it will take.
And there is a certain point where it's not fixable, but chance are slim that you're in that category. And if you think you're in that category, let's talk.
Just like you can get Tendonitis anywhere, you can get osteo arthritis anywhere there is a joint.
Additionally, it's the tendonitis dynamic that is ultimately the cause of osteoarthritis. More about that in the causes section. And to understand what I'm talking about, see: What Is Tendonitis?
The great news is, just like Tendonitis is completely reversible, so is osteoarthritis.
The question 'What is Ostearthritis' is answered by understanding the causes of osteoarthritis.
Do you understand? You will soon. A complete explanation of the cause is on the What Causes Osteoarthritis page.
But in short:
The result is pain. Then pain and reduced range of motion. Then eventually actual damage of the joint. Then eventually bone on bone.
It doesn't -have- to end up as bone on bone, every joint has different expected worst case outcome predictions, but that's the direction of the general predictable trend.
For more on symptoms, go to the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis page.
---- Watch This Video On 'What Is Osteoarthritis?' ----
Osteo arthritis is a dynamic that can be reversed. It can be effectively treated.
Arthritis medication can't cure arthritis. It can't, and it never will. Because pharmaceutical drugs don't touch the actual causes of osteoarthritis.
The best that doctors have for you, really, is surgery. In their favor, hip and knee replacement surgeries are pretty good these days. But even those aren't permanent solutions, and you definitely have to spend a long time recovering just from the surgery (much less all the new metal in there).
It is my professional opinion that the best option for dealing with osteoarthritis is to EFFECTIVELY TREAT IT BY REVERSING THE MECHANISMS CAUSING THE PAIN/PROBLEM.
Above, you've seen that the cause of osteo arthritis is, basically, tightness and inflammation. So, to get rid of osteoarthritis, you have to deal with that tightness and inflammation (and almost some nutritional factors).
Sound simple? It is. Even if you've had pain for years and years. As long as your joints aren't bone on bone or close to, as long as your joints haven't become physically deformed (and maybe even then to some extent) it's reversible.
For more on treatment, go to the Osteoarthritis Treatment page.
What is Osteoarthritis? It's not Osteoporosis, that's for sure.
Osteoporosis is a totally different dynamic that Osteoarthritis.
Osteoporosis is weakening of the bone due to nutritional deficiency.
Osteoarthritis is inflammation of a joint due to chronic tightness (and some nutritional insufficiency).
You can have both, of course (and tendonitis symptoms too!). A side effect of having Osteoporosis can be an increase in the osteoarthritis dynamic, but having osteoarthritis has NOTHING to do with and no effect either way on Osteoporosis.
But hey, good news, they are BOTH totally reversible!
Osteoarthritis (OA) is inflammation of (and possible degradation of) a joint, caused by chronic tightness and compression of a joint and the resulting chronic inflammation process in the joint. As the dynamic becomes severe osteo arthritis, scar tissue can build up, and the joint lining and cartilage can wear away leaving a joint in a 'bone on bone' scenario.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is inflammation of (and possible degradation and damage and deformation of) a joint resulting from the systemic inflammatory process in the body, including auto-immune response, caused by nutritional deficiency and inflammatory foods like gluten, factory farmed corn, factory farmed processed and pasteurized dairy, processed oils, etc. This infammatory process can, among other side effects, deform a joint.
I know I'm repeating this, but if caught and effectively dealt with before symptoms become severe, both can be fully reversed.
See the Osteoarthritis vs Rheumatoid Arthritis comparison.
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