It is the most common condition of the joints, and it can affect any joint – although it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back, neck and fingers.
The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain, stiffness, swelling, a grating sensation, as well as not being able to use the affected joint normally.
Many factors increase the risk of osteoarthritis, including age, gender, obesity, joint injury, and genetic factors.
Osteoarthritis and obesity
Being overweight puts additional pressure on hips and knees. This can cause the cartilage that cushions joints to break down faster. Excess fat tissue also produces inflammatory chemicals (cytokines) that can damage the joints[i].
For more information on osteoarthritis please see the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ESCEO).