Osteoarthritis affects millions of people all over the world. The condition can affect any joint in the body, but it primarily affects the hands, spine, knees, and hips. Osteoarthritis develops gradually, and the symptoms are mild at the beginning and tend to worsen with time. Some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint pain that mainly occurs with movement or after movement. Another common symptom of osteoarthritis is joint stiffness that especially happens after long rest periods and after waking up.
You can also get pain when you touch the joint that has osteoarthritis. This symptom is the tenderness of joints. A joint that has osteoarthritis also loses flexibility, and you may be unable to use it. Other symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint swelling and the production of popping or cracking sounds when the joint is in use. According to Dr. Kevin McElroy, treatment for the symptoms of osteoarthritis is available, but it is impossible to reverse the damage that occurs in the joints. You can learn about the risk factors of osteoarthritis below.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative problem that worsens with age. The ends of the femur and tibia bones that form the knee joint have cartilage. Cartilage is a firm tissue that is also slippery. The role of this tissue is to ensure that there is no friction during the movement of the joints. As you grow older, the cartilage deteriorates, and therefore the bones rub on each other, causing friction, discomfort, and pain within the joint. As osteoarthritis sets in the joint, inflammation of the bones and other issues occur. Therefore, an older adult is at a higher risk of developing arthritis than a younger person.
Obese people are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis than people who are obese. When you are overweight, the excess weight puts pressure on the joints that bear weight in the body, the knee and hip joint. The extra fat also worsens osteoarthritis because it produces proteins that inflame the joints causing pain, swelling, and inability to use the joints.
The risk of osteoarthritis is higher when there are injuries in the joints. Therefore, people who play sports that cause many falls and injuries are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis than those who don’t. The risk of developing osteoarthritis is still present even when the injuries have been in the joint for a long time, even with signs of healing. Getting repetitive stress in the joint can also increase the chances of developing osteoarthritis.
4. Genetic Predisposition
Another risk factor of developing osteoarthritis is having a family history of the condition. If you have first-degree relatives with osteoarthritis, you are at risk of getting the disease. Osteoarthritis is also more common among females than males, but the reason is still bizarre. If you have bone deformities or other joint abnormalities, your risk of getting osteoarthritis is higher than that for people that have normal joints.
In summary, osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that causes wear and tear of the protective cartilage that prevents friction in joints. The disease presents with joint pain, swelling, joint stiffness, and inability to use the common. The condition primarily affects older people, but it can also affect young people who play sports and get frequent injuries. Obesity and having a genetic predisposition are other risk factors of osteoarthritis.