Arthritis is basically a condition caused by inflammation in, and around the joints. There are many different types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis the most common form affecting nearly 27 million people in the United States alone. Osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with the breakdown of cartilage in and around joints in the body. Any joint can be affected, but the weight bearing ones, like knees or hips, are most commonly targeted.
Several factors can bring about OA during your lifetime:
- Heredity: Like many other health complications, OA can be triggered via hereditary inheritance. Some people acquire a defect in the genes responsible for cartilage production. This creates cartilage that is more prone to deterioration, and the eventual onset of OA.
- Injury: Injuries are a huge contributor to the development of OA, with knee and back injuries the most common culprits for arthritic development. Injuries to the weight bearing joints compromise its structural integrity and surrounding cartilage, essentially paving the way for further degradation.
- Being overweight: In addition to the other health complications associated with being overweight, your chances of developing OA are dramatically higher when you’re carrying extra pounds. Extra weight places excess stress on joints, accelerating the breakdown of cartilage. Losing weight can reduce your risk of OA, as well as slow its progression if already present.
- Overuse: Since OA is caused by the eventual degradation of cartilage and joint material, it stands to reason that overuse of certain joints can bring about OA. For example, people that have jobs requiring bending of the knees, heavy lifting, or other related labor practices, are far more prone to OA.
- Disease: Other diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, are also known to cause the eventual development of OA. If you have any preexisting disease or health condition, speak with your physician to discuss preventative methods and treatments to avoid osteoarthritis.
Do you have osteoarthritis, or even tangential problems like hip bursitis? Has you doctor discussed what reasons may have caused it?
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