Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting some 21 million Americans alone. The bones that make up your joint surfaces are covered with a protective layer of cartilage that absorbs shocks to the body and allows the bones to glide smoothly during motion. Arthritis causes the cartilage to gradually wear away, resulting in painful bone-on-bone rubbing.
All of your joints may be affected by osteoarthritis, although the weight-bearing joints, such as the hip and knee, tend to be the most painful. Arthritis typically develops as people grow older.
If you suffer from arthritis or are recovering from a joint replacement as a result of arthritis, physical therapy can help you manage the pain and recover from surgery.