What Causes Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a disease to one's joints. It affects the cartilage, which is the tissue that is present at the ends of the bones at every joint, providing lubrication and allowing bones to painlessly glide together, as well as resisting shock. Osteoarthritis causes the top layer of cartilage to break down, making the bones in the affected joint rub against each other and causing pain, discomfort, and impaired movement – the joint may even become misshaped. One would hope to avoid this condition, then you need to find out "what causes osteoarthritis" to prevent it.

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

There is no known exact cause for this degenerative disease, that being said, certain factors have been ensured to increase one's likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. These include:

1. Age

Osteoarthritis is far more common in older adults.It is thought that nearly everyone will have symptoms of the disease, like stiff and tender joints, aching pain, impaired motion, by the time they are seventy. That being said, younger people can also develop this disease, and in most instances, it is brought about by trauma.

2. Genes

If a close member of your family (such as a parent or grandparent) has or had osteoarthritis, you are at an increase risk of also developing the disease. If you experience joint pain, try to ascertain your family's medical history before visiting a health care professional, as this will help with diagnosis.

3. Gender

Both genders under the age of 55 generally have the same risk of developing osteoarthritis. After the age of 55, the disease is more prevalent in females.

4. Joint Injuries

If you are a sportsperson who is trying to ascertain what causes osteoarthritis, you should be aware that a sports injury and the trauma to it can directly cause the development of osteoarthritis. This can happen at any age.

Although more likely in those who regularly play sports, it is possible for anyone to get trauma in a certain way so as to lead to the development of osteoarthritis. Such injuries include:

  • Ligament injuries
  • Dislocated joints
  • Torn cartilage

5. Certain Jobs

What you do daily can cause the cartilage within your joints to wear down. This happens due to repetitive motions, meaning if you are constantly climbing ladders or stairs, performing physical labor or other strenuous repetitive motions, osteoarthritis may happen to you.

6. Weight

Although it is true for osteoarthritis to affect people of all sizes and weights, those who are overweight or obese pose more risk for this disease. This is due to the fact that excess body fat and the weight put excess pressure on the joints, especially the back, hips, and knees. If this is of concern to you, try to implement a weight loss program under the guidance of a health care professional.

7. Bone Deformities

For those wishing to ascertain what causes osteoarthritis, one more thing can be related with the development of this disease. It is bone deformities, which some people are born with.

8. Underlying Problems

People with problems or conditions relating to their blood, such as hemophilia (a bleeding disorder), avascular necrosis (blood flow blockage), or diabetes, may experience symptoms relating to osteoarthritis. These conditions can also cause osteoarthritis to worsen because they may encompass bleeding near a joint. If you have other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, you may also be at an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.

How to Diagnose Osteoarthritis

To get a proper diagnosis, one must first visit a health care professional. You will likely be asked about the symptoms and given a physical examination. At present, there is no definitive test or diagnosis method to ascertain whether an individual has osteoarthritis. The following symptoms can indicate that osteoarthritis is present:

  • As soon as you wake up in the morning, your joints are stiff, and the stiffness lasts for no more than thirty minutes.
  • The pain is consistently persistent. And the pain intensifies when you need to use the affected joint.
  • If you are over the age of 40-45 years.

If your symptoms slightly differ from the ones listed above, your doctor may suspect that you have another form of the disease.

It is not common for individuals to undergo imaging or blood tests for osteoarthritis, unless the health care professional wishes to rule out other conditions (such as a broken or fractured bone). These tests may include:

  • X-rays, which help to show if cartilage has broken down or work to detect bone spurs.
  • MRI which creates a detailed image of the inside of one's body (including cartilage and bone), using radio waves and a magnetic field. This can help to determine the cause of a patient's pain.
  • Blood tests which is used to rule out other illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Joint fluid analysis, in which a needle withdraws fluid from an affected joint, which is then sent to a lab for testing. If uric acid is present within the extracted fluid, there is a high chance that gout is the cause of the symptoms. This test can also help to ascertain whether there is an infection or only inflammation.

Understanding what causes osteoarthritis and how to diagnose it can help to ensure that you can manage the disease if you or someone dear to you suffers from it.

Get more info about osteoarthritis from the following video if you want to.

 
 
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