Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease caused by the cartilage covering the bones gradually becomes rough and thin. There are numerous factors that will increase your risk and it’s often a mixture of these that led to it.
- Joint injury
- Joint abnormalities
- Genetic conditions
Usually starting from the late 40’s, it is possible a weakening of the muscles or the body’s inability to heal itself as well as well as when you are younger are contributing factors. It is common for women to be more affected by osteoarthritis of the hand and knee joints, usually being more severe is most cases.
Lifestyle can be a factor in developing osteoarthritis, with obesity commonly affecting the knee. Being overweight will also make symptoms worse and prevent any recovery. Injury similarly will increase the chances of developing osteoarthritis in later life. Normal activity and exercise won’t usually cause osteoarthritis, but injury or overly demanding physical jobs will increase your risk.
Finally, genetic factors or joint abnormalities can increase the chances, Perthes’ disease of the hips is an example of this, resulting in more severe osteoarthritis later in life. Similarly, nodal osteoarthritis that affects the hands of middle-aged women runs strong within the families. Genetic factors play a smaller, but important part in osteoarthritis, particularly of the hip and knee.