The 1 in 10 Canadians with arthritis, arthritis is a degenerative disease, aging eventually makes your joints a little stiffer and your movements a little slower, changes that may not show up until after the middle years.
Most arthritis is simple deterioration of a joint. Heredity, diet, and previous injuries and diseases in your joints are possible causative factors, but everyday use also is a factor.
Arthritis usually starts in the spine or large joints---the hips and knees, which bear the weight of your body.
It also can show up elsewhere, such as in the knuckles. The symptoms are intermittent pain, stiffness, and occasional swelling in the joints.
Sometimes there are no symptoms. Because your natural response to a painful joints is to move it less, you use the muscles in the area less frequently, so they start to shrink and lose strength.
This process produces a destructive cycle that increase the degree of disability. Arthritis in the hips and knees can substantially affect how you walk.
Most people develop pain in just one or two joints, but any joint is
vulnerable. Trouble spots include knee, hips, spine, and fingers.