What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (also called arthrosis) is a form of rheumatism and a disorder of cartilage and bone in your joints in which the cartilage becomes thin or sometimes even disappears altogether. Pain and restriction of movement, such as morning stiffness, are the main symptoms. Cartilage contains no nerves and can therefore not hurt. Pain caused by osteoarthritis is therefore probably due to other changes inside and outside the joint, such as changes in the bones, osteophytes (visible and palpable nodules), inflammation of the mucous membrane in the joint or changing nerves in the joint. Muscles around the joint can also change, which can cause pain. Worldwide, an estimated 300 million people have osteoarthritis (source: Reuma Nederland and OAFI Osteoarthritis Foundation International).