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Do repetitive motions lead to osteoarthritis?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
The repetitive motions that are common to certain jobs and some sports can increase the wear and tear to the joints that leads to osteoarthritis (OA). Activities such as jumping, running, kneeling, lifting, bending or typing can wear away the cartilage that supports and cushions the joints of the hands, spine, hips and knees, causing bones to rub against each other. Injuries stemming from repetitive motions can also cause and worsen the pain of osteoarthritis.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Repetitive motions might eventually cause osteoarthritis (OA) if they stress the joints. Repeatedly lifting things, for example, can eventually cause the cartilage in the stressed joints to break down, resulting in OA. Most repetitive motion disorders, however, affect soft tissue, such as muscles and tendons. You're more likely to get bursitis, tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive motions such as data entry, working a cash register or doing assembly work.

With proper treatment and some changes to how you perform the problematic motion, your repetitive motion injury is likely to clear up and probably won't cause OA later on. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.