Osteoarthritis Causes and Risk Factors

Osteoarthritis Causes and Risk Factors

Osteoarthritis Causes and Risk Factors
Osteoarthritis (OA) is usually caused by repetitive stress to the joint due to activities such as exercise or work. Damage to the cartilage can be the result of a previous injury, such as an dislocation or fracture. Age, heredity, injury and infection are the most common causes of OA. Of all factors contributing to osteoarthritis, age is the most important one. Your doctor can evaluate for any structural abnormalities or family history that might increase your risk for osteoarthritis.

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    Most people think osteoarthritis happens because they’re getting older. That could be true, but there are reasons for osteoarthritis that you may not have thought about. Osteoarthritis happens when cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends of your bones, wears away. So, instead of the bones gliding over each other when you move, they grind together. This causes stiffness, soreness and the inability to bend as you normally would.

    Osteoarthritis has a number of causes. But there are three causes of osteoarthritis that might surprise you:
    • being overweight
    • lack of exercise
    • uneven wear and tear
    Osteoarthritis is most often seen in the knees, hips, hands and spine.

    This content originally appeared on http://blog.mountainstar.com/
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    While regular runners may suffer knee problems for a variety of reasons, there's actually no proven link between running and osteoarthritis.

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    If you fit in any of the categories below, you may have an increased risk for osteoarthritis:

    • Older than 40: Often people 40 and under do not experience the symptoms of the disorder although they may show increased size of their joints in x-rays.
    • Female: For reasons unknown, more women than men are affected by osteoarthritis between the ages of 40 and 70 (after 70 the sexes are affected equally).
    • Underlying disease or injury: Those who suffer from joint injuries, bone and joint diseases, or those born with malformed joints and cartilage defects are more at risk. If you have a history of osteoarthritis in your family you will be more likely to be affected by it.
    • Overweight: Your weight also increases your risk because the more you weigh the more stress you place on joints.
    • Muscle weakness: When thigh muscles and muscles around the knee are weak, it increases the risk of knee osteoarthritis.
    • Physical labor: Occupations that include repetitive motions that place stress on a joint may be weakening the joint. 
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    YES!! Ever notice how so many former pro football players, like Mean Joe Greene, limp, walk stiffly, or shift around all the time, even in their chair or in the broadcast booth? Years of joint stress and injuries from bashing into other players have left them with osteoarthritis. They’re perfect examples of how putting extreme stress and wear and tear on your joints can lead to osteoarthritis. Even when the injury has healed well on its own or been surgically repaired, osteoarthritis can hit years later. So be kind to your joints and stick to low-impact activities like appropriately done resistance exercises (have a trainer teach you and check your form periodically), plus walking, swimming, or yoga. Your joints will thank you later.

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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Older people are not the only people affected by osteoarthritis. It can develop in young, middle-aged, and elderly people. In young people, it is usually caused by an immune system problem called juvenile arthritis. Arthritis can be treated successfully, however, and people with arthritis can lead a long, full life.
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    Osteoarthritis is not more prevalent in black people. Age, not race, is the main risk factor for osteoarthritis. The disease is most common in people over age 45.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Osteoarthritis occurs most commonly in "elite athletes." This term refers to athletes competing at the professional, collegiate, or extremely competitive amateur level. Some research has shown that 3.3% of elite athletes have osteoarthritis, compared to 1.4% of people who are not athletes. But this doesn't mean that exercise and competition is unsafe. Research suggests that exercise and other recreational activities can decrease risk of total knee replacement. In most cases, athletes experience osteoarthritis because of complications from injuries.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Deaths from osteoarthritis and related conditions may be increasing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that from 1979 to 1998, deaths increased from 5,537 to 9,367. While the death rate in the U.S. was 2.46 per 100,000 people in 1979, the death rate was 3.48 per 100,000 in 1998.
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    Osteoarthritis (OA) causes disability because it wears away cartilage that supports the joints of the hands, spine, hips and knees. This leads to debilitating pain as the bones begin rubbing against one another and can interfere with a person's ability to work and perform otherwise normal activities such as standing up after spending a few hours in a seated position.

    Osteoarthritis can also damage muscles and ligaments. People who have osteoarthritis sometimes feel depressed and helpless because of their limitations, which can also be disabling. Medication and physical therapy can help. If all else fails, joint replacement surgery can often help people with OA regain their independence.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Depression has been strongly linked to osteoarthritis. Researchers think one reason for this link is because osteoarthritis limits a person's ability to perform daily tasks. It can be very frustrating to be unable to do things you used to do. Some research shows that there is up to an 18% higher risk of depression in people with osteoarthritis. If you think you are depressed, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor.