Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is caused by the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage is a hard but slippery elastic material that covers and protects the ends of bones. Osteoarthritis is often referred to as "wear and tear" of the joints as cartilage begins to crack and break. Small fragments of the cartilage can get into the joint space and may irritate soft tissue and muscles. Sometimes the pain associated with osteoarthritis is a result of cartilage damage. This damage causes the muscles and tissues involved in joint movements to function in an abnormal way. Eventually, cartilage erosion may leave bones rubbing against bones. Osteoarthritis generally occurs after age 45, but it has been known to occur at any age.

Home Medical Equipment for Osteoarthritis Patients

People who suffer from osteoarthritis may have many equipment needs. Many daily living aids such as eating utensils and dressing aids may help compensate for impaired hand function. If hip joints are involved, the person may have difficulty raising and lowering his body and might need a lift chair, a raised toilet seat and a bath bench. If osteoarthritis has caused gait difficulties, there may be a need for a cane, crutches, a walker or a wheelchair.