Your joints are located anywhere in your body where bones connect, and are protected by cartilage and a lubricating fluid that allow the bones to slide against each other painlessly. If the cartilage becomes roughened, however, the friction can cause stiffness, swelling, and pain. The most common reason for this pain is degenerative arthritis, which affects many people over the age of 60. Arthritis can become progressively worse and steadily decrease the quality of life by making even simple daily activities difficult. Fortunately, there are several ways to control the disease, such as low-impact exercise like walking and swimming, a healthy diet, rest, topical ointments, and over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. If these remedies fail to help the problem, then you may want to consult your doctor. You may also need to consult your doctor if you feel pain that interferes with normal daily activities, occurs when you're not moving, or actually awakens you from sleep. In severe cases, a damaged joint may require surgery, but only if arthritis symptoms seriously interfere with activities of daily living. Although joint pain affects many older people, children and younger adults are susceptible to the disease.