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Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting 27 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also is what most people refer to as “arthritis.” It is caused by degenerative damage to the joint cartilage.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis, but many treatments are used to fight the pain, including physical therapy, exercise and proper nutrition. To combat the pain, physicians at UCF Pegasus Health recommend that those with arthritis:

* Eat fresh fruits and vegetables

* Maintain a healthy weight (extra weight around the hips, back and knees can increase arthritis pain)

* Exercise regularly

* Apply heat therapy (for osteoarthritis)

* Don’t smoke, and if you do smoke, quit (smoking increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, which is the more serious type)

* Avoid excessive stress whenever possible

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