At What Age Are You at Risk of Osteoarthritis?

At What Age Are You at Risk of Osteoarthritis?

Age is one of several major risk factors for osteoarthritis (OA). Let’s look at common age of development and other information on the disease.

Definition and causes of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is diagnosed more than any other type of arthritis, with 26 million Americans estimated to suffer from the disease. Also called wear-and-tear arthritis and degenerative joint disease, it is the gradual wearing away of the cartilage that cushions the ends of our bones.

The reason cartilage is so important is that it allows the body to move with very little friction at the joints. When OA occurs, the cartilage’s surface gets rougher. If left untreated, bones may eventually scrape against one another, resulting in excruciating pain.

Risk factors for osteoarthritis

Major contributing factors that can make it likelier you will develop osteoarthritis include:

Age – Osteoarthritis does not occur in everyone as they get older, but we are more vulnerable to experience it as we age. Most people with OA are at least 45 years old.

The likelihood of doctor-diagnosed arthritis is as follows, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

·      Ages 18-44: 7.3%

·      Ages 45-64: 30.3%

·      Ages 65+: 49.7%.

Obesity – Osteoarthritis is more frequently experienced by people who are carrying extra weight. “Research into the causes of osteoarthritis has shown that being obese puts excess strain on your joints,” notes the UK’s National Health Service, “particularly those that bear most of your weight, such as your knees and hips.”

Genetics – OA is also sometimes hereditary. Researchers have not been able to isolate one specific gene that raises susceptibility, so probably heightened risk is due to numerous genes.

Injury – If you experience a joint injury or if you undergo surgery, osteoarthritis may often develop. It can also arise when patients are overly aggressive with recovery, not giving tissues enough time to heal following injuries or surgeries.

3 early symptoms

How can you tell that you might be suffering from OA? Here are the primary early symptoms:

Pain/tenderness – Two different types of discomfort are associated with osteoarthritis. You may suffer from sharp pain when performing certain activities, such as opening a jar or climbing stairs. You may also experience tenderness at the joint, which means it becomes uncomfortable when you press it.

Stiffness – It’s normal to feel stiff when you get out of bed or have been sitting for long hours at the office. Those with OA must remember to remain active. “People with arthritis often start to feel better once they have warmed up their joints through some gentle exercise,” advises Healthline.

Lower flexibility – Another early symptom of osteoarthritis is a loss of one’s range of motion, such as difficulty bending the knees.


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