Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and it can affect people of any age and gender. Although the condition can damage any joint in the body, it typically affects those in the hands, knees, and lower back. Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, tenderness, and joint stiffness.
Because there is no cure available for osteoarthritis, it is essential that at-risk patients receive treatment as early as possible. With proper care, doctors can slow the progression of the disease, allowing for patients to relieve their pain and restore joint function. Like other conditions and disorders, osteoarthritis tends to affect certain individuals more than others. Knowing if you are a candidate for the osteoarthritis can help you take the necessary precautions to prevent this debilitating disease.
Many factors play a role in the formation of osteoarthritis. If you fit into any of the following criteria, it’s possible that you may be a candidate for osteoarthritis.
There’s a reason why osteoarthritis is often called “wear-and-tear arthritis.” Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the joints begins to wear down. This means that older individuals who have used their joints longer than others are at a higher risk of developing the condition. While osteoarthritis rarely occurs in individuals under 40, it’s not an inevitable part of aging. Plenty of older men and women are living without osteoarthritis.
In addition to helping people live a healthier lifestyle, losing weight can also help you avoid osteoarthritis. This is because larger individuals place more stress upon their joints, which in turn wears down the cartilage in the joints. And once osteoarthritis begins, deterioration in overweight individuals occurs faster than in individuals at a normal weight.
Certain workers and athletes
If your job requires constant squatting, kneeling, or other repetitive motions, you have an increased risk for developing osteoarthritis. Certain sports can also increase your risk for developing the disease. Catchers in baseball, for example, suffer a high risk of osteoarthritis due to the squatting position they play in.
Family history of the disease
As with other diseases, the development of osteoarthritis is heavily dependent on an individual’s genetic history. If other members of your family suffer from the disease, there’s a good chance that you’re at risk as well. In addition, osteoarthritis is more common in people who were born with physical abnormalities (like being double-jointed or bow-legged).
Having other diseases, like diabetes or gout, can exponentially increase your chance of developing osteoarthritis. To be fully aware of their osteoarthritis risk, patients should schedule a consultation with a Board-certified rheumatologist.
Call Dr. Baker Today
If you think you might be a candidate for osteoarthritis, please contact Susan Baker, MD. Board-certified in rheumatology and internal medicine, Dr. Baker can identify, diagnose, and treat osteoarthritis in all of its stages, ensuring that her patients live comfortably and free from joint pain. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Baker, please call (310) 274-7770.
Next, read our blog, Coming Soon: Homeopathetic Injectable Treatments for Osteoarthritis of the Knee.