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Osteoarthritis— What You Should Know

How much do you know about osteoarthritis, its causes, and its therapies? Take this quiz and find out.


  1. True/False: Osteoarthritis occurs when bone breaks down and wears away.
  2. True/False: The chance of developing osteoarthritis increases with age.
  3. True/False: Researchers suspect that osteoarthritis is caused only by environmental factors.
  4. True/False: Joint injuries from sports, work-related activities, or accidents increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
  5. As a tool for diagnosing osteoarthritis, x-rays are:
    1. not useful
    2. limited in their usefulness
    3. the only way a doctor can make a diagnosis
  6. Which of the following is not a sign or symptom of osteoarthritis?
    1. joint pain
    2. stiffness
    3. fever
    4. bone rubbing on bone
  7. True/False: There is no cure for osteoarthritis.
  8. True/False: Exercise can help a person with osteoarthritis.
  9. True/False: Both heat and cold can be useful treatments for osteoarthritis.
  10. What is the most common type of arthritis?
    1. Osteoarthritis
    2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
    3. Reactive Arthritis
    4. Psoriatic Arthritis


  1. FALSE. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends of the bones within the joints, breaks down and wears away.
  2. TRUE. The chance of developing osteoarthritis increases with age. By age 65, half the population has x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis in at least one joint.
  3. FALSE. Researchers suspect that osteoarthritis is caused by a combination of factors including being overweight, the aging process, joint injury, and sports activities.
  4. TRUE. People with joint injuries from sports, work-related activities, or accidents may be at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.
  5. B. X-rays are often used in combination with other methods to diagnose osteoarthritis. However, x-rays are limited in their capacity to reveal how much joint damage may have occurred, and they do not usually show osteoarthritis damage until significant cartilage loss occurs.
  6. C. Common signs of osteoarthritis include joint pain, stiffness after getting out of bed, and a crunching feeling or sound of bone rubbing on bone. Fever is not a symptom of osteoarthritis.
  7. TRUE: Current treatments for osteoarthritis can relieve symptoms such as pain and disability, but right now there is no cure for the disease.
  8. TRUE. Exercise is one of the best treatments for osteoarthritis. It can improve mood and outlook, decrease pain, increase flexibility, and help you maintain a healthy weight. Ask your doctor or physical therapist what exercises are best for you.
  9. TRUE. For temporary pain relief from osteoarthritis, you can use warm towels, hot packs, or a warm bath or shower. Cold packs are often used to reduce the inflammation of swollen joints.
  10. A. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes pain, swelling and reduced motion in your joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips, or spine.

Read More "Orthopedic Health" Articles
Healthy Joints for a Lifetime / Targeting Musculoskeletal Pain / Joint Health and Care: Prevention, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment / Osteoarthritis — What You Should Know (Quiz)

Spring 2009 Issue: Volume 4 Number 2 Page 15