Osteoarthritis Causes and Risk Factors

Arthritis, Bone & Joint Health, Featured Article, Healthy Aging, Healthy Living, Osteoarthritis
on June 7, 2011
A list of osteoarthritis causes and risks.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that damages joints over time. According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, this type of arthritis is the most common form of the disease, and it can affect any joint in your body. Up-to-date information on osteoarthritis causes and risk factors is crucial to staying in control of your body’s well being. Keep in mind that having risk factors does not necessarily mean you will develop osteoarthritis.

Risk factors you need to know. Osteoarthritis carries several risk factors, such as:

  • Your job can put you at a greater risk for osteoarthritis. Repetitive use injuries often develop into osteoarthritis if the movement is continued with frequency.
  • Weight gain or obesity puts you into a higher risk category to develop osteoarthritis due to the extra demand and stress on your joints.
  • Older age is a risk factor. Osteoarthritis occurs most often in older people since it is a response to the wear and tear of joints over time.
  • Women are most affected by osteoarthritis, although the exact mechanism at play in this tendency is not understood.
  • Injuries or malformations of the bone and joint put you at a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis. Whether you pitched one too many fastballs or were born with defective synovium, you are predisposed to developing this type of arthritis in the afflicted joint.
  • Joint and bone diseases such as Paget’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and gout can develop into osteoarthritis eventually.

Causes of osteoarthritis. The causes of this disease relate to wear and tear:

  • Getting older and the process of aging is a cause of osteoarthritis. Your body is a machine, and like most machines, eventually parts wear out or develop a defect.
  • The onset of osteoarthritis may be caused by joint stress or injury. Once damaged, the process of osteoarthritis can begin in the afflicted joint.
  • Lack of muscle development or weakness can cause undue stress on joints and cause osteoarthritis. Healthy, well-developed muscles actually protect the joints from taking the brunt of the effects of day-to-day strain and stress on your body.
  • Obesity causes the body to take more punishment than for which it was designed. The extra weight causes even more strain on joints and leads to osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that many people may have to manage one day. Because osteoarthritis is so widespread, there are many excellent therapies available today to help you live a high-quality and active life. Knowing osteoarthritis causes and risk factors is an excellent start to controlling the disease and its effects.