First, let us understand what is Osteoarthritis ...

    OA is a degenerative disease of joints that affects all of the weight-bearing components of the joint:

  • Articular Cartilage
  • Menisci
  • Bone


  1. Most common joint disease 
  2. Most common form of arthritis 
  3. Most OA patients > age 45 
  4.  Women> men
  5. Most often appears at the ends of the fingers, thumbs, neck, lower back, knees, and hips.
Joints affected by Osteoarthritis[OA]
Joints affected by Osteoarthritis[OA]



  • Strongest risk factor
  • OA can start in young adulthood but risk increases with age


  • Affects more in women than men
  • More common in men before age 45, women after age 45
  • OA of the hand particularly common in women

Joint injury/Overuse from physical labor or sports:

  • Trauma to any joint increases risk of OA 
  • Ligament or meniscus tears
  • Repeated movements in certain jobs increase risk 


Joint overload is among strongest risks for knee OA

Obesity a risk to Knee OA
Obesity a risk to Knee OA


  • Gradual onset 
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling or tenderness in one or more joints 
  • Crunching feeling or sound of bone rubbing on bone (called crepitus) when the joint is used

Radiographic Diagnosis:

Asymmetrical joint space narrowing from loss of articular cartilage
Asymmetrical joint space narrowing from loss of articular cartilage

How to Manage OA ???

Goals in Managing OA :

  • Decreasing pain
  • Increase range of motion
  • Increase Muscle strength

Occupational therapy for Osteoarthritis:

 It would involve

  • Pain management through use of Physical Agent Modalities, 
  • Exercises to improve and maintain Range of Motion of the joint
  • Exercises to Strengthen Muscles of the joint
  • Use of Energy Conservative and Work Simplification Techniques to help in doing the activity with ease
  • Use of Joint Protection Technique while using the joint
  • Ergonomic Modification in Work & Home environment