What causes osteoarthritis pain?

I have osteoarthritis. Can you tell me what is happening in my joints that causes my painful symptoms?

The short answer is that osteoarthritis causes deterioration of cartilage in the joints. But I suspect you’d like a more detailed response.
There are many different kinds of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common. It causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints that worsens over time. The condition most often affects joints found in the shoulders, WRISTS, fingers, hips and knees. These joints are designed for a variety of movements that make possible all manner of activity, from playing tennis to playing the piano.
Joints, like machines with moving parts, are vulnerable to friction. If a machine’s moving parts come in contact with one another, friction will scratch the surfaces and cause pitting, distortion and eventually breakage. Two strategies can prevent such friction: applying a lubricant, or inserting a cushion. Human joints are protected in both ways.
The joints affected by osteoarthritis are lined with a membrane, called synovium, that produces synovial fluid. Synovial fluid lubricates the joint, guarding against friction and allowing movement.
In addition, the ends of the bones in these joints are covered by a protective layer of cartilage. The tough, elastic cartilage cushions the bones. Cartilage can mold to its surroundings, so the opposing surfaces of a joint are perfectly matched.
As cartilage becomes less resilient, microscopic pits and fissures appear on its surface. Tiny pieces of cartilage may flake off into the area surrounding the joint, and the damaged cartilage can set off a chain of events that results in joint inflammation.
As cartilage degenerates, patches of exposed bone appear. Over time, the space between bones narrows. The surfaces of the bones change shape, leading to friction and joint damage.
The bones try to repair themselves, but the renovation attempts are uneven. As a result, bony overgrowths form along the margins of the damaged joints. These little pieces of overgrown bone can get chipped off of the bone. Then they become like gravel in the joint, making it hurt worse. (I’ve put an illustration of the process below.)

The combination of damaged cartilage, bone rubbing on bone and inflammation all contribute to your symptoms of osteoarthritis.
So that’s what osteoarthritis is. But you asked what causes it. Medical research has provided some answers. We know that part of it is genetic: It runs in families. It ran in my family. We are born with a vulnerability for our joint cartilage to become damaged if we injure the joint. If there is no injury, we escape getting osteoarthritis.
But when a joint is injured by some trauma, such as a job requiring lots of heavy lifting or (as in my case) a sports injury, the cartilage starts to digest itself. How do our genes trigger this process? Once we understand that, treatments to prevent the disease could follow. more  

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Dineshji. Thanks for updating me. If you are determined and destined, you will definitely make it. Good luck to you. more  
Rajaji, for once you seem to have mixed your facts. Valley of Flowers is only at 12,000 ft, and is not too arduous a trek even for the 'week-kneed'. I did it in 1975, at the prime of my youth, and after having been around the world I still think it is possibly the most beautiful place in the world, and I am intent on visiting it again, with a camera this time, before I kick the bucket. I planned my visit in 2013, and in 2014, but both times nature intervened. I remain undeterred in my intent, planning it now for 2015. Hemkund is at 15,000 ft, and in comparison is more taxing, but not impossible for the determined. The curious fact is that both being right together there, while lakhs go to the latter every year, only a handful care to also visit the V/F!. Goes to show how far ahead God is compared to nature, when possible both are the same. more  
Valley of Flowers is almost at a height of 22,000ft? How do you manage to avoid the High Altitude Sickeness because of lack of Oxygen.? more  
Dinesh ji. I think I am misunderstood for what I had posted in a lighter vein. What I really meant was that God is the most intelligent engineer who has created such a perfect machine of every creature that man is still not able to even understand many aspects of his CREATION. What I meant was that a man bestows such awards on another man who has tried to find out a miniscule element of God's creation but humanity as such is forgetting that Creator ! I am a staunch believer in God and I believe God exists and is invisible like Oxygen.....not visible but we cannot live without it (HIM)! As you said "....but venerate and worship Him." is what is going down in humans day by day and worshipping and Bhakti as a show-biz is increasing day after day. Any way, thanks for your cheers and correcting me if I have not been able to present myself rightly. more  
Thanks, Sir. I am extremely grateful. Esteemed regards. R.C.Mital From: support@localcirclesmail.com To: mitalramesh@hotmail.com Subject: Found your comment "Thanks Dr. Prasad Sahib. ..." helpful Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:17:36 +0000 more  
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