Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the articular cartliage, soft tissue and underlying bone of synovial joints. OA is now viewed as an active disease process which results in the destruction of the articular cartliage. The articular cartliage covers the end of bones where they meet to form joints. This articular cartliage allows us to move more freely reducing friction between the bones. When this breaks down new bone forms at the margins of the joint. Eventually the joint space narrows and range of movement decreases. This leads to bone on bone contact which is one source of potential pain.

In a recent study by Rayahin et al, (2014) it was found that higher self-efficiency was associated with a higher likelihood of  good pain outcomes  and that higher pain catastrophizing was associated with a significantly lower likelihood of good pain outcomes at two year follow up.

This finding allows us to believe that there is more that just a structural cause for pain. Great work has been carried out by researchers into the part the brain contributes to low back pain. Studies of these kind are needed to further understand all the potential sources of pain in osteoarthritis.

Risk Factors

Common Symptoms

For more information on Osteoarthritis see Arthritis Ireland.