Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and the one we associate with aging, although nutritionally oriented physicians believe it has more to do with poor dietary habits and biochemical imbalances. Pain is usually the first symptom.

The main characteristics are stiffness, aches, and painful joints that creak and crack. Stiffness may be worse in the morning and after exercise. Osteoarthritis begins gradually and usually affects one or a few joints, most commonly in the knee, hip, fingers, ankles, and feet. As joints enlarge, cartilage degenerates.

Eventually, hardening leads to bone spurs. You lose flexibility, strength, and the ability to grasp, accompanied with pain. Risk of osteoarthritis, especially arthritis in the knee, increases if you are overweight; losing weight helps. Acid-alkaline balance is also important in treating this illness.