Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis. It is the ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, characterized by the breakdown of cartilage found in the joints. What’s worrying about this is that it can happen in any joint of the body. This article will tackle about the basics of osteoarthritis, the risk factors and how to prevent joint pain like this.
Basics of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis commonly takes place in the joints that usually bear weights such hip, knee and spine joints. Sometimes, it also happens in the neck, large toe and fingers. Moreover, this condition will most likely occur in those joints that are previously stressed and injured.
What osteoarthritis does is it makes the cartilage in one joint lose its elasticity and become stiff, making the joint prone to damage. As time goes by, the cartilage wears away. When that happens, the ligaments and tendons stretch that causes the pain.
Age: Risk Factor
The age of the person is one of the common risk factors of osteoarthritis. According to statistics done in America, more 65 years old people have osteoarthritis in the knee. 70% of old people in the age of 70 suffer from osteoarthritis. Another study that has been proven is that more men before the age of 50 are already suffering from osteoarthritis. After 50 years old, however, more women were found with this condition.
Other Risk Factors
- Overweight or obesity – According to records, women with obesity are 4 to 5 times riskier to suffer from osteoarthritis.
- Injury – Athletes are in danger of having this if they already suffered from acute knee injuries.
- Hazardous jobs – Busy occupations such farmers, mill workers, and jackhammer operators can be in danger of having this condition.
- Congenital Deformities – Abnormalities in the body which are congenital are also risk factors to osteoarthritis.
- Hormone Factor – According to records, women who lack estrogen intake could be in danger of having osteoarthritis in the long run.
- Race – Some reports proposed that the African-American people have a higher rate for this condition than Caucasians
- Weak Muscles – People who have feeble quadriceps may suffer from osteoarthritis of the knees.
- Other diseases – Diseases that affect the cartilage structure can raise the percentage of having osteoarthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, hemochromatosis, pseudogout and gout.
How to Prevent Osteoarthritis
Here are things to do to prevent joint pain like osteoarthritis:
- You should maintain your ideal body weight. There is a recommended weight for a particular height. Learn this and stick to your ideal body numbers.
- You should do exercises which strengthen your muscles especially around your joint.
- At any time, always maintain your good posture. Don’t slope or stay in any position that could endanger your joints.
- Pay attention to what your body tells you. If you feel pain, don’t ignore it. Immediately consult a doctor or a physical therapist.
- To prevent joint pain, avoid any injury to the joints. If possible, wear necessary safety equipments. If you are a worker in a hazardous job, don’t forget to wear your helmet and protection pads.