Discovering Osteoarthritis Early
Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that damages joints throughout the body. It can affect one area in particular, such as the knees, or can be extensive, resulting in damage to the hips, the spine, and the hands. Discovering osteoarthritis early can help slow down its progression.
What are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
Stiffness of the joints is common, especially first thing in the morning or after periods of time spent inactive. When this condition sets in, it becomes painful to move any of the affected joints, even being tender to the touch. Osteoarthritis often causes bone spurs, or extra pieces of bone, to accumulate around the affected joints.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is caused by the deterioration of the cartilage that protects the bones. This cartilage is an essential cushion that keeps the bones from rubbing together until osteoarthritis wears it away. An extremely active lifestyle, aging and other factors and cause this condition.
Getting plenty of calcium and maintaining a healthy weight may ward off the disorder. Regular exercise makes your muscles strong, providing a support system for your bones. For those who are extremely active, it’s important to wear supportive footwear and avoid putting excessive strain on any part of the body.
What are the Risk Factors for Osteoarthritis?
One of the biggest risk factors for osteoarthritis is age. It is also more likely that women will develop the condition than men. Anyone who participates in a sport or occupation that places a great deal of strain on particular joints over time is prone to developing this disorder. Those who are obese are at a higher level of risk, as well as individuals with deformed bones. Heredity also puts people at an increased risk.