27 million Americans have osteoarthritis (OA), with 16 million of those women. Why are women more susceptible to the condition? Experts are still unsure as to why women have a much higher rate of developing OA than men. Several theories exist and these include:
- Hormonal differences – Women and men have different hormonal activity and balances. These hormones fluctuate with age and factors like menopause. One thing is for sure though, the susceptibility for OA rises dramatically as women reach older age.
- Biomechanical differences – Human bodies differ in shape and mechanics based on gender. Wider hips may account for the high rates of arthritis in women’s knees, whereas men typically suffer more around the spinal region.
Despite the causation, the primary objective is to find relief from symptoms and continue life in a normal fashion. There is no true cure for the disease, only certain methodologies to quell the pain and hindered movement it may cause.
Losing weight can help tremendously. Every extra pound of body weight you carry puts undue stress on already deteriorating joints. Losing weight is quite possibly the best way to relieve pain caused by arthritis, not to mention it benefits other facets of health too.
Consult with your doctor to find the right medication. There is an abundance of both prescription and over-the-counter medications designed to help with arthritis. If your current medication isn’t doing its job, find one that will.
Give alternative treatments a try. Many people with arthritis find great relief in alternative treatments, most of which are completely natural. Supplements, acupuncture, and massage therapy have provided relief for a great deal of women who suffer from OA.
Educate yourself. Osteoarthritis is a difficult condition, both to bear, and to understand. Educate yourself as much as possible and you’ll be better equipped to address the issue at hand. Knowing what you’re dealing with is the first step in forming an effective plan of treatment.
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