Osteoarthritis is one of the most common degenerative joint diseases that occurs when cartilage, which acts as a cushion between the joints, wears away and there is increased rubbing of bones with each other. This leads to increased friction between the joints and causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints.
There are many contributing factors that lead to Osteoarthritis (OA) and while many of them are out of control, there are a few lifestyle changes that may actually be beneficial for reducing the risk of developing OA.
Arthritis is very common in elderly people, and most of the people aged 65 years and above are at an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. While many symptoms may not be experienced, symptoms like morning joint stiffness, aching pains, tender joints and limited range of motion might be experienced commonly. Young people develop arthritis more likely as a result of any traumatic injury.
If your family history signifies the presence of OA in your parents, grandparents, siblings then the chances of getting OA increase manifolds. Your rheumatologist will devise a treatment plan based on your genetic background and symptoms.
Women are more likely to develop progressive symptoms of OA than men. This difference roughly starts to appear after the age of fifty, though.
Sports injuries are the major cause of OA in younger people. A majority of sports injuries include torn cartilage dislocated joints and ligament injuries. Specific sports-related knee injuries like Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) may be of significant importance when talking about OA, since they have been linked to an increased risk of later developing OA.
Occupation also plays a major role in contributing towards OA. Osteoarthritis, which is also referred to as the “wear and tear” disease, may be caused by repetitive strain in your joints. This may lead to loss of cartilage at early ages. Activities that may lead to the development of OA include repetitive kneeling, climbing stairs with heavy weights.
Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for developing OA. Excessive body weights may place additional stress on your joints, like knees, hips and back. Obesity can also predispose to marked cartilage loss, leading to early development of OA.
Any medical condition that involves bleeding around the joints can be a leading reason for developing OA later on. Any other form of arthritis like gout or RA may also pose increased risk to OA.