Osteoarthritis is also called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis. It is the most common chronic joint condition.
Osteoarthritis results from overuse of joints but most commonly it is an aging phenomenon. It can be the consequence of demanding sports where joints may be injured or obesity, which places increased load on weight bearing joints.
Osteoarthritis in the hands is frequently inherited and often happens in middle-aged women. Osteoarthritis is most common in joints that bear weight — such as the knees, hips, feet, and spine. It often comes on gradually over months or even years.
Except for the pain in the affected joint, you usually do not feel sick, and there is no unusual fatigue or tiredness as there is with some other types of arthritis.