Get to Know the Risk Factors for Osteoarthritis

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There are so many different types of arthritis, and the most common type is osteoarthritis. In this article, you will learn some of the risk factors for osteoarthritis.

A risk factor is anything that can increase your likelihood of ending up with a medical condition. Some risk factors cannot be avoided or altered, like family history and age.

However, there are risk factors that can be dodged or changed, thus helping to lower your risk of getting a medical condition, and a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits are common examples.

So when we talk about the risk factors for osteoarthritis, we are tackling things that can put you at higher risk of suffering from osteoarthritis one day.

But before we take a look at some of those risk factors for osteoarthritis, both unchangeable and changeable ones, let us first take a quick look at osteoarthritis itself.

When someone says that he or she is suffering from arthritis, it’s very much likely that the individual is actually referring to osteoarthritis since it’s the most common type of arthritis around.

Simply put, osteoarthritis is the degeneration of the cartilage as well as the bones situated in joints. When the protective cartilage is damaged, damage to the bones strikes, too.

Degeneration of the cartilage is a normal part of the aging process. However, it doesn’t mean that everyone will end up with osteoarthritis. Doctors do not really understand why some people do not develop it.

Osteoarthritis usually affects weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips and spine, although it’s something that can also affect other bones in the body.

Pain, stiffness and reduced flexibility are some of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis. A grating sensation in the affected joints may be experienced as well.

Now that you know osteoarthritis better, it’s time for us to take a look at the things that can put you at risk of having it — the risk factors for osteoarthritis:

Age

Earlier, it was mentioned that damage to the cartilage is part of the process of aging. It’s for this reason why the older you get, the more susceptible you are to developing osteoarthritis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC of the United States, more than a third of people over 65 years old have osteoarthritis symptoms.

Gender

Experts say that osteoarthritis is something that can affect both men and women. However, they add that it is more common in men until 45 years of age. After that, it becomes more common in women.

Family History

Just like so many other medical conditions out there, osteoarthritis is a health problem that can be passed by parents to their children. So in other words, it can run in families.

If you have a parent or sibling who is diagnosed with osteoarthritis, there is this huge possibility that you, too, will develop it eventually, most especially if you have many other risk factors for osteoarthritis.

Previous Injury

Did you injure a joint in the past due to sports, working out or an accident? According to experts, it’s very much likely for you to develop osteoarthritis in the future in the very same joint.

Obesity

Being overweight or obese puts a lot of stress on your joints, most especially the weight-bearing ones — joints that support much of your body weight like the knees, hips and spine.

However, it’s not just weight-bearing joints that are at risk of developing osteoarthritis due to being overweight or obese, but others, too, such as those in the hands.

Poor Posture or Overuse

If you sit or stand with poor posture, you are at risk of ending up with osteoarthritis. That’s because it’s something that can strain the joints, making them prone to being damaged.

Repeated use of the joints is also regarded as a risk factor for osteoarthritis. If your daily activities or occupation requires a lot of walking, kneeling, squatting or kneeling, then you are at higher risk than someone else.

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